Prison for purse snatch thief

Oxford Mail: Terry Wakeling Terry Wakeling

A ROBBER with a “terrible” criminal record has been jailed for snatching cash from two women.

Terry Wakeling, pictured, of Bonar Road, Headington, Oxford, admitted two counts of robbery and one count of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress on Friday.

All the offences took place over a number of hours on April 17 this year in the Cowley area of Oxford.

Anne Evans, prosecuting, said the 34-year-old had targeted two women he recognised and snatched cash after engaging them in conversations.

The barrister said Wakeling’s first victim, Yasmine Marsh, suffered from mental health problems and had £33 stolen.

Miss Evans said the defendant next took £70 from Keira Gibson, who was eight months pregnant at the time.

She said on both occasions Wakeling and the women engaged in “tug of war’’ type struggles as they tried to hold onto their purses.

Miss Evans said he later went on to racially abuse shop worker Imdad Ali, telling him: “I’ll blow your head off you p*** bastard.’’ Graham Bennett, defending, said his client had not chosen the women because he thought they would be easy targets. He said: “He is someone who hangs around in Cowley and knows people in the area.

“It is right to say he knew the two victims. He is also someone who has served a number of sentences of custody, which were mainly short term.’’ Passing sentence Judge Ian Pringle said Wakeling had previous convictions for a range of offences and his robberies must have been “frightening’’ for his victims.

He told the defendant: “You have a fairly terrible record before the courts and as long as you keep appearing your sentences are going to get longer and longer.”

He sentenced Wakeling to two years in prison and told him to pay a £100 surcharge.

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