A pensioner was knocked unconscious while trying to defend himself as he was robbed by a man in the middle of the street.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Paul Johnson made out that he was helping the 85-year-old, but he had already threatened to stab him and was actually rifling through his victim’s pockets when he was on the floor.
The pensioner had been to a local shop in Verne Road, North Shields, when he was targeted by 22-year-old Johnson.
Johnson approached him from behind and threatened to stab him, and as he tried to fight back he fell to the ground, banged his head and was knocked out.
Johnson, of Whitehouse Lane in North Shields, has been jailed for five years after he was convicted of assault with intent to rob.
Judge Paul Sloan QC told him: “Your victim was in fear for his life, as he puts it he feared you might finish him off.
“The only reason you didn’t take anything from him was because of the courage shown by the victim in resisting you and the help of other members of the public.”
The pensioner had been to get the papers from a newsagents when the attack happened.
Johnson told his victim to keep walking, but the man turned around and tried to stand up for himself, which led to a tussle.
And when one woman who was nearby challenged Johnson, he grabbed her too, leaving her terrified.
Johnson admitted common assault on the woman, denied assault with intent to rob but was convicted after a trial at court.
The court heard how the victim’s confidence had been affected and he was suffering from flashbacks following the incident.