Wrexham man jailed for 'cowardly' robbery from student

Published date: 24 March 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A GERMAN student was robbed of his mobile phone within days of arriving in Wales to study at Glyndwr University, Wrexham.

The terrifying robbery had a devastating effect on him and his confidence had been hit, Mold Crown Court was told on Friday.

Simon Aldred, 27, who had a previous conviction for robbing a taxi driver and was on early release licence at the time, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after he admitted robbing student Mathias Dillinger as he walked home alone at night.

He punched his victim repeatedly – between 20 and 30 times – before grabbing his mobile phone.

Aldred, of Chapel Street, Wrexham, was branded a coward by Judge David Hale, who said he would have a bleak future if he did not change his ways.

Judge Hale said he admitted “this cowardly robbery” to steal a mobile phone, which within hours was sold for £100 in Manchester.

“You set upon this man walking along the street,” he told him.

“You treated him violently.Fortunately there was no weapon, fortunately you did not kick him, and fortunately the injuries are relatively superficial.”

Judge Hale told him: “This is typical of you.

“You have to think what you are going to do with the rest of your life. Are you going to come back here every couple of years or not?

“You are hardly contributing to society at the moment.”

Prosecuting barrister Matthew Dunford said the robbery took place on September 27 last year, shortly after the victim arrived in Wrexham to study.

Mr Dillinger had only been in Great Britain for seven days when the attack took place.

That evening he had been to Wrexham town centre and had a few drinks with his housemates.

He lost company with the others and began to walk back to the accommodation alone.

It was in the early hours as he made his way down Town Hill towards Brook Street and up Penybryn.

At the top of Penybryn he saw a man, who turned out to be the defendant, on the other side of the road with a female.

Mr Dillinger continued to walk and was using his Samsung Galaxy mobile phone to look at the social networking website Facebook.

As he got to the vicinity of The Swan pub he heard a man shouting from behind.

He looked around and saw Aldred jogging towards him with his fists up. Mr Dunford said Aldred hit him to the left of the head and then punched him as he tried to protect himself with both hands.

“He was hit an estimated 20 to 30 times,” he said.

“He still had hold of his phone but the defendant grabbed it and ran off towards the town centre.”

The victim shouted after the man to give him his phone back and ran after him, but the defendant hit him again before making off.

Passers-by raised the alarm and Aldred was identified from the town centre CCTV system.

The victim, who ended up on the ground during the attack, had grazes, swelling and bruising to his forehead, cheek and ear.

The phone, which he had paid 500 Euros for, was recovered when it was sold the following day in Manchester by a man who had bought it off Aldred.

In a victim impact statement the student said it had a devastating effect upon him.

Mr Dillinger found it difficult to relax and sleep even in the safety of his accommodation.

The victim would no longer go out alone at night for fear of being attacked and if he went to Wrexham to socialise he made sure he was in a group or take a taxi.

“It has affected his confidence,” said Mr Dunford.

Ceri Evans, defending, said Aldred had been released from the earlier robbery sentence in June of last year and had been recalled when the present offence occurred.

She stressed there was no weapon, no kicks, the property was recovered and the guilty plea had prevented the victim from having to relive the ordeal in court.

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