A ROBBER was caught as he attacked a woman at a cash point when members of the public came to her aid.
Alan Elwood was jailed over the attack which took place near to the HSBC cash machine on Stocks Hill, Armley.
Leeds Crown Court heard Elwood targeted the woman after she withdrew £50 from the machine and was taking her cash and bank card.
Elwood, 34, grabbed the woman’s hand and tried to take the cash but she refused to let go and began to struggle.
The woman then screamed and Elwood put his hand over her mouth to try to keep her quiet.
A customer then intervened as he came out of the bank when he saw the woman’s wallet on the floor. He then saw Elwood putting some money down his trousers and attempting to hit her.
A number of other members of the public saw the disturbance and also helped detain Elwood.
The victim suffered a broken finger during the attack, which took place on December 2 last year. Elwood, of Clyde Grange, Armley, was arrested and claimed he was not responsible for the offence. He denied being on CCTV footage of the incident but later pleaded guilty to attempted robbery.
The court heard he has previous convictions for false imprisonment, assault and supplying heroin.
Graham Parkin, mitigating, said Elwood had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early opportunity and was sorry for what he had done.
Mr Parkin said the victim “gave a good account of herself” during her struggle with Elwood. Elwood was jailed for 20 months.
Recorder Jonathan Sandiford said: “In my judgement there has to be an element of deterrent to dissuade people in your position from committing offences such as this.
Mr Sandiford also praised the bravery of the those who went to help the victim.
He ordered that two of them be awarded commendations for their bravery.