After failing to rob a 90-year-old man in the street, drug addict Michael Keogh targeted another pensioner and snatched his wallet.
Keogh, 36, of Coton Road, Rugby, was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of attempted robbery and robbery.
Prosecutor William Douglas-Jones said on August 15 the 90-year-old man left Lloyds bank in Rugby town centre.
The pensioner, originally from Poland, did some shopping before going to a bus stop where Keogh approached him and struck up a conversation.
On the bus, Keogh sat next to him and chatted. At the pensioner’s stop, Keogh got off as well and demanded £5.
The man said he had not got any money but Keogh persisted and got his wallet but there was no cash in it. After asking where the money was, he handed the wallet back, apologised and asked if the pensioner was going to invite him in for a cup of tea.
At that point other people took the pensioner to a nearby pub and Keogh returned to the town centre.
An 85-year-old man was in the public toilet in North Street when he felt a tap on his arm. When Keogh then took his wallet from his back pocket, the old man grabbed his arm, but Keogh released his grip and took £240 from the wallet before discarding it.
After the incident was reported, an ambulance was called for the pensioner but he did not need to go to hospital.
Keogh was identified by CCTV but contacted police and said he would hand himself in. He did not do so, was arrested and admitted both offences. He said he had done it because of his drug addiction.
Mr Douglas-Jones added that Keogh had many previous convictions for theft or related matters, and is serving a 24-week sentence imposed by magistrates for a theft he had committed two days earlier.
Simon Hunka, defending, said about three years ago Keogh was the victim of ‘a significant assault’ which put him in a coma for several days and has left him using crutches.
That spurred him to make changes in his life, and he steered clear of drugs for a while – until December last year when he came across an old friend and also came into quite a lot of money as compensation for his injuries.
“He spent something like £8-9,000 in a three-week period, in the main on drugs.”
Of the offences, committed around the 17th anniversary of Keogh finding his brother hanging, Mr Hunka added: “To target people of that age is something he is very much not proud of, but he was desperate.”
Jailing Keogh, Judge Stephen Eyre QC told him: “These are the most serious offences you have committed. I accept you didn’t use much force; you didn’t need to. It is a serious aggravating feature that you targeted elderly victims because of their vulnerability.”