AN ELDERLY man was robbed of hundreds of pounds as he waited at a bus stop, a court heard.

The 90-year-old was waiting at a bus stop to make his regular weekly visit to a workingmen's club.

Durham Crown Court was told that the pensioner was approached by 43-year-old Anthony Hartley, who had earlier spoken to him when he bought some lottery tickets at a newsagents.

Mr Hartley asked the man his age, but was told to stop annoying him by shop staff.

Roger Moore, prosecuting, said that minutes later, Mr Hartley sat next to the man in the bus shelter, in Front Street, Langley Moor, near Durham, and asked him: "Can you box?"

Then he knocked the pensioner to the ground and removed his wallet, containing £385, from an inside jacket pocket.

The court was read a statement from the victim, which said: "I shouted 'help' and I remember him banging my head on the ground." Mr Moore said Mr Hartley made off with the wallet, leaving the victim lying in a pool of blood in the shelter, until a passer-by found him.

The member of the public took him to the nearby home of a friend, who rang for the police and an ambulance. The pensioner was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham suffering from head and arm injuries, which were treated with staples and stitches.

Mr Moore said when police went to Mr Hartley's home, in High Street North, Langley Park, near Durham, they found a wallet containing a large number of notes under a mattress in a bedroom. Mr Hartley is accused of robbery, but a previous hearing deemed him unfit to plead.

The jury in the case has been directed to decide whether or not they believe he carried out the robbery, rather than return a verdict .

The case continues