A drug addict’s attempt to rob a woman in Cambridge failed miserably when he was wrestled to the ground and restrained by two passers-by.
Lee Hornibrook (50) targeted the woman in broad daylight at about 11.25am on September 12.
The victim was walking along Chesterton Road towards Jesus Green when Hornibrook, of no fixed abode, cycled up behind her and asked the time.
The victim said she did not know but Hornibrook then grabbed her handbag with both hands.
A scuffle ensued and the woman held her bag so tightly that she was pulled to the floor and dragged into the road, causing grazing to her leg and body.
The woman screamed for help and two passers-by dragged Hornibrook away, wrestled him to the ground and detained him.
The two members of the public then called the police and officers arrested Hornibrook on suspicion of attempted robbery.
En route to the police station he told officers he needed help, was “really sorry” and knew what he did was wrong.
In interview, Hornibrook said trying to rob the woman was “silly” and added he was addicted to crack cocaine and heroin.
He said he planned to rob the woman because he had no money for drugs, and claimed he spotted her while riding around the city on his bike.
Hornibrook admitted he intended to steal the woman’s bag to see if there was money or anything valuable inside before “dumping the rest”.
DC Stuart Webling, who investigated, said: “Hornibrook thought nothing of approaching this woman in broad daylight in what must have been a terrifying ordeal.
“I want to praise her for having the strength to prevent him from taking what was hers and for calling for help.
“The courage of the two passers-by who wrestled and detained Hornibrook shouldn’t be underestimated and must also be praised.”
At Peterborough Crown Court Hornibrook pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.