Frail man robbed of £1,000 winnings

William Hill betting shop, Market Street, Halifax.
William Hill betting shop, Market Street, Halifax.

A Slovakian man who has been in the country for six months robbed a frail man after he had won almost £1,000 at a betting shop. Zdenko Makula, 26, of Clay Street, Halifax, followed his victim, Brian Dennis, out of the William Hill betting shop on Market Street, Halifax, on January 12, and robbed him close to the Pump Room pub by Halifax train station.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Mr Dennis, 68, put his winnings in his inside pocket of his overcoat and CCTV showed Makula in the betting shop at the same time and observing Mr Dennis’ actions. Makula, who was arrested on January 28 after being identified by CCTV, pleaded guilty at the plea and case management hearing.

James Keeley, defending, said Makula has been attending college to learn English and was keen to find any sort of job. Makula had two previous convictions of robbery and a charge of grievous bodily harm in his homeland. Judge David Hatton said it was clear that Makula had targeted him to obtain the money and followed him and took his money but to some degree it was spontaneous as he only decided to do it when he saw his victim winning the money.

“He was left shaken and traumatised I have no doubt,” said Judge Hatton on the robbery of Mr Dennis and was aggravated at is was a robbery of a vulnerable man. Makula was sentenced to 20 months in prison.