Drug thug jailed for vicious street attack

Thug Ryan Barber who injured a pensioner when he snatched her handbag.
Thug Ryan Barber who injured a pensioner when he snatched her handbag.
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A THUG who carried out a sickening street robbery, dragging a woman along the ground as she clung onto the strap of her handbag, has been jailed.

Preston Crown Court was told Ryan Barber had apologised to his 61-year-old victim while carrying out his crime at Raikes Parade in June.

He made off with a handbag containing £300 cash.

She suffered two broken fingers while trying in vain to keep a grip on her bag.

When police went to an address in Lune Grove, Blackpool, Barber had locked himself behind a bathroom door and was trying to inject himself with heroin.

The bathroom door was forced and he was arrested.

Barber, 25, of Lune Grove, Blackpool, admitted robbery and possessing heroin.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said Barber had earlier been asking friends for money for drugs.

Shortly after the robbery, he went back to the flat and showed friends a wad of notes.

He told them he had robbed a man and woman.

Police went to the address in Lune Grove on June 27.

The defendant was upstairs and tried to inject himself with heroin, having locked himself behind the bathroom door when the police came in.

He had 12 previous offences on his record.

Sarah Booth, defending, said Barber himself said the robbery was a new low for him. He had written a letter to the court and the victim.

Miss Booth added: “He says he finds it extremely difficult to accept what he has done to this lady, being dragged along the ground.

“He is extremely embarrassed and ashamed of it.

“He wishes he could change what he did.”

The barrister said the crime was not planned.

The defendant knew a custodial sentence of some length would follow.

Miss Booth said “At the time he was taken to custody he was using significant amounts of heroin, methadone, crack cocaine, cannabis and anything else.

“His life was literally dropping off the edge”.

Jailing him for three years, Judge Andrew Woolman told Barber it had been a “determined” robbery.

He added: “I accept you are remorseful.

“You now realise how low you have sunk as a result of your long-standing addiction.

“There has to be a prison sentence. I could not possibly justify anything else.

“The public have to know those who commit offences of robbery in the street will receive immediate sentences of imprisonment.”

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