A robber has been put behind bars for three years for targeting lone women near a Metro station at night.
Carl Farrell tried to grab a 39-year-old victim’s handbag as she walked along Calf Close Lane from Fellgate Metro station in Jarrow after finishing work.
Within minutes, a second woman, aged 27, had her bag taken as she walked along the same road heading for the station to catch a train to work.
Both times the terrified victims were warned: “Let go or I will knock you out.”
The two women said their ordeal had left them scared to walk alone and made them change the way they live their lives.
Jailing Farrell, Judge Penny Moreland told him: “What you did will affect them for some time to come.”
Neil Pallister, prosecuting, told the court: “The offences were committed during the hours or darkness against lone females. They were vulnerable victims.”
Farrell, 30, of Beach Road, South Shields, admitted attempted robbery and robbery.
He claimed he had only acted as a lookout during the second attack while it was carried out by others.
The court heard that he has 143 previous convictions and had been given a community order for shoplifting the day before the attacks on Friday, January 24.
Judge Moreland told Farrell: “That night, because you wanted money for drugs, you identified two women who were walking alone near the Metro.
“You identified them because they seemed to be unlikely or unable to resist your desire to steal their handbags.
“You threatened each with force.
“Both have told the court that what you did was a very upsetting and frightening experience.
“What you did will affect them for some time to come. It has affected their confidence in using the Metro and walking home from work, and changed the way they live their lives. You are responsible for that, as a result of these offences.”
Peter Schofield, defending, said Farrell has suffered from schizophrenia for many years.
Mr Schofield added: “He makes clear apologies to those ladies for what happened.
“He understands it must have been a frightening ordeal.”