Robber jailed after plucky pensioner fights back

A blundering mugger who was forced to flee when his 77-year-old victim fought back has been jailed for more than three years.

Michael Collins, 40, tried to rob retired bus driver Trevor Weston at a supermarket cash machine in Cardiff on February 5 this year.

Cardiff Crown Court heard it was 6am and dark, and Mr Weston had just used the ATM and was returning to his car when he was approached by Collins.

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Armed with a pencil and covering his face, the attacker told him: "Give me your money and card or I'll stab you."

But CCTV outside the Sainsbury's supermarket in Roath showed the flat-capped pensioner fight back, squaring up to Collins and punching him twice in the face.

Prosecutor Timothy Evans told the court: "To deliberately target an obviously elderly gentleman alone at twilight is not only an aggravating feature but is also plainly a cowardly attack.

"Well, in this case the CCTV shows that this particular coward picked on the wrong man.

"He wanted the victim's cash. Instead he got a left hook."

Trevor Weston fights off Michael Collins during the attempted robbery outside Sainsbury's (South Wales Police/PA).

Mr Evans added: "Instead of giving in, Mr Weston spun around in the robber's arms and pushed him backwards, asking him: 'What did you say?'

"The defendant repeated his demand – 'give me your money and card or I'll stab you' – and started to walk towards him again.

"Instead of giving him money, Mr Weston gave him a punch to the face to keep him away and squared up to him in a boxing stance with his fists up."

Mr Evans said Collins was "obviously taken aback" and took a step back.

"It was at that point that Mr Weston could see that he was holding a black and yellow striped pencil in his right hand which he was holding out in front of him," the prosecutor said.

"That first defensive blow did not stop the defendant though in his attempt to rob Mr Weston.

"He started to move again towards him still holding the pencil out."

He added: "That didn't put off the redoubtable Mr Weston. He punched his attacker again with his left fist to the face. This time a bit harder.

"That second punch clearly surprised the defendant and it was then that he backed off and walked away towards Colchester Avenue."

The court heard Mr Weston then got into his car and left the scene.

In a victim personal statement, Mr Weston said: "After this incident I went home. I sat down and ate breakfast.

"I was watching the TV and it suddenly dawned on me of what could have happened. I was very shaky. I think I was shocked.

"Looking back at this time I am thankful that nothing worse happened.

"I am now frightened to go back to Sainsbury's to withdraw money. I am now thinking I will have to change my daily routine."

Collins, who has a long history of offending, was identified by police from CCTV and forensic examination of Mr Weston's jacket revealed the defendant's DNA.

The attacker, of Emblem Close, Cardiff pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to attempted robbery.

The court heard he has a total of 57 convictions involving 156 offences, including shoplifting, assaulting police officers, battery, harassment and criminal damage.

Judge Richard Williams jailed Collins for 42 months.

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