Leeds drug addict attacked pregnant woman

A robber who preyed on vulnerable women to feed his drug habit has been jailed for four years.

Derek Mileham, 34, targeted a pregnant woman, one who was carrying a baby and another who had hearing difficulties as part of his spate of attacks.

Leeds Crown Court heard Mileham punched a woman seven or eight times as

he robbed her of her handbag as she walked through an alleyway in Harehills, Leeds, on July 15.

Ruth Cranidge, prosecuting, said the victim did not hear him approach her as she was partially deaf and wasn't wearing a hearing aid.

Mileham put his arm around her throat and threatened to stab her if she didn't give him her handbag. He then punched her in the ribs as she tried to stop him but he told her: "Give me the bag or I will knife you."

The woman was punched several times before being pushed into a hedge and Mileham fled with the bag.

He was arrested later that evening and found in possession of the woman's purse and belongings. The bag was found hidden near his home.

Mrs Cranidge said the victim was left badly shaken and now felt nervous whenever she went out alone.

Mileham, of Edgeware Place, Harehills, pleaded guilty to robbery and asked for five other offences to be taken into consideration.

One involved Mileham grabbing a pregnant woman around the neck and threatening her with violence as she was sending a text on her mobile phone. On another occasion he stole a mobile phone from a woman as she was carrying her child.

Mileham, previously jailed for four years and three months in 2008 for robbery, committed the offence after being released from prison on licence.

Stephen Grattage, mitigating, said Mileham had not deliberately meant to punch his victim but struck as he wrestled the back from her.

Despite his threats to use a knife, he had not been carrying a weapon.

Jailing him, Recorder Rodney Jameson said: "You have been in the grip of drug addiction and fighting it by taking property from vulnerable women."

Mileham will also be on an extended licence period of four years when he is released from prison.

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