Former law student jailed for "wrestling woman" in street robbery

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A former law student who wrestled a woman for her cigarette in the street after she refused to hand one over has been jailed.

The victim had been stood having a break at around midday on May 11 when she was approached by Omar Iqbal Malik.

When she told him she it was her last one, the 36-year-old from Pontefract called her an offensive name which she laughed off.

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He then grabbed her by the arm, pushed her forward and “wrestled” the lit cigarette from her hand, prosecutor Bashir Ahmed told Leeds Crown Court.

Omar Malik was handed a 22-month jail term.Omar Malik was handed a 22-month jail term.
Omar Malik was handed a 22-month jail term.

The incident happened outside Imperial Arcade in Huddersfield, and the female was left badly shaken.

But as Malik walked away she was able to get a photograph of him on her phone from which the police were able to identify him.

He was arrested on June 8 and was wearing the same jacket he was wearing on the photograph.

He gave no comments to the police during interview.

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Malik, who appeared in court via video link from HMP Leeds, admitted a charge of robbery.

Formerly of Headlands Road in Pontefract, he has 40 convictions for 92 offences dating back to 2007.

Most recently he was jailed for six weeks for threatening behaviour towards a bus driver after refusing to pay the fayre.

He was jailed in February for 12 weeks for shoplifting.

Mitigating, Laura McBride, said Malik was “acutely aware” of what he was facing.

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She said he was a bright student who was studying law but suffered a series of mental health issues culminating in a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.

At the time of his latest offence she said he had run out of medication.

She said: “He recognises what he did was wrong. Fortunately it was a short-lived offence with little or no planning.

"There was force used but it was minimal.

“He is sick of the cycle he is in, being in and out of custody. He realises he can’t go on like this.”

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Judge Christopher Batty told him: “It’s a sad case in so many ways.

"You are intelligent and articulate, you studied for a law degree but it’s clear mental health issues have plagued your life.

"I’m sorry to say that I will have to lock you up.”

He jailed Malik for 22 months.