Homeless man jailed for bag snatch

City Centre sign-02A 26-year-old homeless man has been sentenced to over two years prison for snatching a handbag on his way down the street from the courthouse, where he had just been bailed on a burglary charge.

Aaron Ross Groube left the Christchurch District Court on December 14, and followed a German tourist to an intersection. He held the back of her arm and stomped on her foot, grabbing her bag.

The woman struggled with him, but the bag strap broke and she fell to the ground. He kicked her in the leg before running away.

He was caught by members of the public at the South City shopping centre.

Groube told the police he thought the handbag looked expensive and there may have been money in it.

Defence counsel Alister James said Groube was on an intensive supervision sentence for an earlier burglary, when he burgled a house on December 7.

Groube was homeless and had an addiction to synthetic drugs and alcohol, and he was depressed, he said.

Judge John Strettell said he was sentencing Groube on one charge of burglary and one of robbery.

He said Groube had a $200 a day synthetic drug addiction, and this caused him to act in a desperate, criminal, and violent way.

He was at a serious risk of further offending, and although he had done some drug therapy in prison he was still far from being treated.

Judge Strettell sentenced him to two years one month prison, and read him the first of the three strike warnings under the system that imposes heavier penalties for repeat violent offenders.


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