Brave woman fought off Leeds city centre cashpoint robber

Leeds Crown Court.
Leeds Crown Court.

A VIOLENT offender was caught after a woman fought him off when he tried to rob her at a cashpoint in Leeds city centre.

Christopher Cannings, 34, targeted the young woman because she was only 5ft 2ins tall and was wearing a leg brace as she was suffering from an ankle injury at the time of the attack.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim stood up to Cannings despite him grabbing her from behind by the neck.

She fought back and elbowed her attacker in the ribs, causing Cannings to panic and run off.

The incident took place at the cashpoint outside the Co-op store on New Briggate on May 4 this year.

John Bull, prosecuting, said Cannings grabbed the woman and pushed his clenched fist into her throat. He also tried to grab her mobile phone during the attack.

He said: “She thought it was a friend having a laugh but his grip got harder and she became scared.”

The woman contacted police and Cannings was recognised from CCTV footage by the officers as he had been caught shop-lifting at the Co-op store earlier the same day. Cannings was the subject of a suspended prison sentence at the time of the offences.

Canning, of Brussels Street, Leeds, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and two offences of theft.

The court heard he has previous convictions for sexual offences, harassment, fraud and theft.

Nick Hammond, mitigating, said Cannings accepted that he must go to prison because he had committed the offences shortly after being given a suspended sentence.

Mr Hammond said Cannings had been complying with a drug rehabilitation requirement but then returned to his old ways and began offending again.

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