Street robber caught after stamp attack on woman

Damien Belk.
Damien Belk.
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A STREET robber who fractured a woman’s ankle after stamping on her as he stole her handbag was caught after being chased by a brave member of the public.

Anees Akram was singled out for praise by a judge as Damien Belk was jailed for more than five years over the attack in Wakefield City Centre.

Judge Rodney Jameson, QC, commended Mr Akram and awarded him £100 from public funds to mark his public-spirited actions.

He said: “It is very easy in this day and age to look the other way when matters of this kind take place.

“Mr Akram did not do that. More than simply going to the rescue of the complainant he chased after, apprehended and detained Mr Belk until the police arrived.

“I regard that as a remarkable demonstration of public spirit which should be recognised by a commendation from the court.”

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim had just been to the Post Office and was on her way to pick her daughter up from a mosque when she was targeted by Belk at 5pm on September 9 this year.

He approached her as she walked past the the Snooty Fox pub, on Brunswick Street, and tried to grab her handbag.

The woman was pulled to the floor but refused to let go of her handbag.

Belk kicked her to the side of the stomach before stamping on her left foot two or three times.

Belk then made off with the handbag but was chased by Mr Akram, who had spotted the attack as he drove past.

Mr Akram’s wife comforted the victim as her husband gave chase. Two other members of the public also joined in the persuit.

Mr Akram caught Belk and held him until police arrived.

The court heard the victim was taken to Pinderfields Hospital after suffering a fracture to her ankle.

After being arrested Belk, of Charoltte Street, Wakefield, told officers he was desperate for money for drugs and alcohol.

He pleaded guilty to robbery

Jon Wilkinson, mitigating, said his client had a long history of offending but had been out of trouble for many years until shortly before the incident.

He said Belk had returned to drug abuse after losing his brother and step father.

Jailing Belk for a total of five years and four months, judge Jameson said: “I take the view that causing a fracture to her foot by stamping on it is a serious.”

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