A 21-year-old man who attacked and robbed a vulnerable alcoholic in an Elland alleyway has been jailed for five years and nine months.
Luke Hall left his 50-year-old victim Mark Todd lying unconscious on the ground after attacking him in the Oak Street area last September.
Hall, of no fixed abode, fled the scene having taken Mr Todd’s mobile phone and a court heard on Wednesday how the complainant’s next recollection was waking up in hospital.
Prosecutor Giles Bridge said the right side of Mr Todd’s face was grossly swollen, he was unable to open his right eye and his cheekbone below the eye was fractured.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC described photographs of the complainant’s injuries as truly distressing and said his face had been turned into “an utter mess”.
Hall, who had previous convictions for violence including a similar street assault, pleaded guilty to the robbery charge when he appeared before Bradford Crown Court this morning.
The judge said Mr Todd had been left unconscious and Hall had “abandoned him to chance”.
Fortunately the complainant was found by a passer-by lying on the ground and she alerted police officers who were nearby.
Although the attack on Mr Todd was not witnessed by anybody part of it was captured on time-lapsed CCTV footage from a house and the householder was able to watch it after police officers sealed off the crime scene.
Mr Bridge said it appeared that Hall was initially comforting Mr Todd, but the footage then showed him pulling back his arm as if a punch had been landed and the complainant falling backwards.
After his arrest in the area Hall told police that he was also the worse for drink having consumed eight cans of lager.
Although he had fresh injuries to his knuckles and blood-staining one of his trainers Hall claimed that Mr Todd was uninjured when he left him.
In interview Hall claimed that he had been helping Mr Todd and had picked up the phone when he fell, but had forgotten to give it back to him.
Barrister Abigail Langford, for Hall, said his difficulty had always been the excessive consumption of alcohol and associating with people he shouldn’t have.
She said her client had not gone out with the intention of robbing someone and Hall himself was distressed when he saw the severity of the injuries he caused.
The court heard that father-of-one Hall had been working as a landscape gardener and his own father was now seriously ill.
Judge Durham Hall noted that Hall was on licence from his previous two-year prison sentence when he carried out the attack on Mr Todd.
The judge said the complainant was himself “worse for wear” that evening and had had the grave misfortune to encounter Hall.
The judge told Hall he had lost his temper, but he accepted that the robbery was unplanned and opportunistic.