Thug attacked Leeds OAP over wallet mistake

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A thug attacked an 83-year-old man in the street and knocked him unconscious after wrongly accusing him of stealing cash, a court heard.

Ben Wilkinson pushed the elderly victim to the ground and caused head injuries during the incident in Farsley, Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim was walking home from a dental appointment at the time of the attack, at 10.20am, on December 20 last year.

Richard Walters, prosecuting, said Wilkinson, 24, from Bramley, drove past with his girlfriend in a BMW and his wallet came out of the car.

Mr Walters said it is unclear whether the wallet fell or was thrown from the vehicle.

Wilkinson stopped to retrieve cash which was strewn around the ground.

Wilkinson then began following the victim and approached him as he believed he had picked up some of the money.

The elderly man was then pushed to the ground and was knocked unconscious. His face was covered in blood.

Wilkinson ran to his car to fetch a blanket for the victim and called the emergency services on his mobile phone.

A witness described how Wilkinson began to panic and said he was going to get into trouble for what he had done.

The victim regained consciousness but spent three days in hospital.

The court heard he is still suffering from anxiety as a result of his ordeal.

Wilkinson was arrested and initially claimed the victim had tripped over him.

He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard Wilkinson has previous offences for violence.

Christopher Moran, prosecuting, said Wilkinson stayed at the scene and immediately showed remorse and concern for the victim.

Wilkinson was given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and told to do 240 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay the victim £1,500 in compensation.

Recorder Richard Wright, QC, said: “You behaved in a quite shameful way.

“You got the wrong end of the stick and you thought this elderly gentleman had stolen from you.

“Rather than deal with that in an adult way you lost your temper.

“It must have been obvious that if you push someone who is in their eighties hard you run the risk that they will go to the ground and suffer serious injury.”