A judge has suspended a prison sentence for a heroin addict who attempted to rob a Sheffield woman of her handbag in the street in order to secure the money for his next fix.
On the morning of June 29 this year, Sheffield Crown Court was told how Shaun Fisher drank six cans of cider and injected himself with a cocktail of heroin and cocaine.
At around 11.15am Fisher walked to the Co-Op in Baslow Road, Totley to buy a can of Red Bull but decided not to go in because a manager, who had banned him from the premises for shoplifting, was working at the time.
Instead of leaving the area, however, Fisher decided to loiter outside the shop with a friend, and it was as he was doing this that the 42-year-old decided to try and steal what he believed to be an 'expensive' handbag from a 50-year-old woman who was walking nearby.
Prosecuting, Laura Gallagher, said: "She walked past the Co-Op and saw two men standing next to a parked car. Both men had their hoods up.
She added: "She became aware of a figure at her side. She felt a forceful pull at her handbag."
The court was told how the woman resisted having the bag taken from her, which led to a tussle breaking out during which the woman was dragged up the street as she refused to let go.
Ms Gallagher said Fisher then shouted for his friend to help him steal the bag, but the unknown man walked away instead. Fisher gave up on stealing the bag and ran away a short time later.
After hearing of the incident, the Co-Op manager who had banned Fisher checked the store's CCTV and handed footage of the attempted robbery to the police, who arrested him at his home address in Stone Craft Road, Totley Rise later that day.
Fisher readily admitted to the offence in police interview, said Ms Gallagher.
She added: "He told police that he saw her carrying the bag, and thought he would steal it. He didn't count on her being strong and putting up a fight."
The court was told Fisher had no money and was 'desperate' to find a way of buying more drugs.
In a letter handed to Recorder Fiona Davies, Fisher said the incident was 'out of character' for him.
Sentencing him to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, Recorder Davies said: "It seems to me that your life has gone wrong in the two years since your relationship broke down.
"And you are now facing a prison sentence.
"The mitigation is considerable. Your remorse I hope means that you are going to take the opportunity I am going to give you."
In addition to the suspended sentence Recorder Davies also ordered Fisher to complete 120 hours of unpaid work as well as a 30 day rehabilitation requirement activity.