A VIOLENT thug attacked a Leeds hotel worker in a bid to rob him of incriminating CCTV footage which showed him stealing cash.
Steven Kelly was jailed for three years and four months over the incident at the Holiday Inn, Garforth, after a court heard he told the victim he was carrying a gun.
Leeds Crown Court heard Kelly turned violent after stealing cash from till in the bar area in the early hours of the morning and then realising the theft would have been caught on camera.
Kelly had arrived at the hotel in the early hours of February 9 this year with a young woman.
They paid for a room and some drinks but the woman left soon after her mother rang the hotel.
Kelly took the cash after searching the bar area around 5am. Later in the morning he approached the member of staff and demanded to see some CCTV footage.
Michael Smith, prosecuting, said: “He said he had done a ‘dodgy thing’ and used a stolen credit card.
“It seems he wanted to see it because he realised he would have been seen stealing the cash registers.”
Kelly then hit the victim on the side of the head and told him he had a gun. Kelly, 32, managed to get into a room behind the reception area where the footage was held and hit the victim again during a struggle.
Kelly also pushed him into a display cabinet which then smashed. He stole £60 from another till and left after the night porter rang police.
Kelly, of Harehills Park Terrace, Harehills, Leeds, handed himself into police later that day.
He told officers he knew he had done something bad but could not remember because of drink and drugs.
He pleaded guilty to theft and attempted robbery.
Craig Sutcliffe, mitigating, said Kelly’s relationship with his partner had broken down at the time of the incident and he had drunk a “reckless amount” and taken cocaine.
Mr Sutcliffe said Kelly had initially gone to the hotel with an “old flame”.
The lawyer said Kelly had committed the offence as he was in debt. Mr Sutcliffe said Kelly was sorry for what he had done and had given himself up four hours later.
Jailing Kelly, Recorder Sandra Knapton said: “You used significant force against a man who was going about his lawful business in circumstances where he was at risk.
“You must have terrified that man. There were only two of them working on that occasion. It was the early hours of the morning and he was presented with someone who is fitter, younger and stronger than him.”
Recorder Knapton said only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate because the offence was so serious.
She added: “To do otherwise would send out a message that it is perfectly acceptable to behave in the way that you did.”