Drug addict jailed for brutal robbery of woman in street
A DRUG addict who brutally attacked a woman during a street robbery carried out to fund his £400 a day habit has been jailed.
Robert Shappell, 42, deliberately targeted women because they were easier to rob Bristol Crown Court heard.
In one week last November he robbed two women and stole another's handbag to feed his heroin and cocaine habit.
He pleaded guilty to robbery, theft and asked for one count of robbery to be taken into consideration.
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Shappell, of Stourden Close, Frenchay, was jailed for five and a half years and must serve an additional four years on an extended licence when he is released.
Judge Mark Horton told him: "By my judgement you have shown yourself to be a violent and dangerous man.
"These offences are committed at night, within a week of each other and were clearly directed at vulnerable lone women. It is quite plain to me that these offences were planned or targeted because you needed to find substantial sums of money for drugs."
Richard Posner, prosecuting, said the offences were committed between November 12 and 19 last year.
The most serious offence was committed on November 19 when Shappell robbed Georgina Haddrell as she walked to her car at 9.30pm in Staple Hill Road, Fishponds.
"He blocked her way and grabbed her bag," Mr Posner said.
"She did not want to let go so he started punching her in the face. He hit her six times in the face and neck and scratched her face.
"The struggle continued but the defendant was able to take her bag away from her. She asked for the bag back and he punched her in the neck again.
"He grabbed her and pulled her to the floor. He had no reason to do this as he had her bag already and the Crown say this is evidence of gratuitous violence.
"She screamed for help and he fell to the floor before running away with the bag that contained her purse, camera, phone and keys."
Mr Posner said at 8.30pm on November 12 Shappell stole a handbag containing cash, cards, a mobile phone and digital camera belonging to Abbie Haines from the windowsill of the Wackum Inn in Whitehall Road before being driven off.
The offence taken into consideration took place on November 17 when he targeted Claudia O'Shaughnessy who was alone in Holmes Hill Road in St George.
"He attacked her from behind and grabbed her bag," Mr Posner said.
"She resisted and there was a struggle in which she was pushed to the floor and he ran off with her handbag. She was left with a swollen finger and grazed knee."
Mr Posner said both women had been badly affected by the robberies which had left them anxious and unwilling to go out alone.
Jonathan Stanniland, defending, said his client had displayed "classic opportunist behaviour" of an addict who had a habit he could not control.