Chester man jailed after committing robbery just days after being sentenced for sexual assault
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A 31-year-old man from Chester has been jailed after carrying out a robbery just days after receiving a suspended prison sentence.
Gareth Roberts, of no fixed address, caught up to a 25-year-old woman who was walking in Chester city centre on Friday 29 November and groped her from behind.
He was subsequently convicted of sexual assault and received a four-month custodial sentence suspended for two years on Monday 17 February.
Yet less than a week later, on Friday 21 February, Roberts followed someone else in the city centre, this time a 71-year-old man.
After catching up to the man from Chester, Roberts hit him in the back of the head with a roof tile, causing the victim to fall face first onto the pavement.
As the victim lay bleeding, dazed and confused, Roberts stole his wallet and ran away.
The victim sustained head and facial injuries as a result of the incident, which occurred in Sandy Lane near to the River Dee at around 11pm.
He was taken to hospital in an ambulance and has since been discharged after receiving treatment.
The roof tile that Roberts assaulted the victim with was found stained in blood at the scene by officers investigating the robbery.
One of the officers also identified Roberts as the offender following a CCTV trawl of the area.
When she did so on Sunday 23 February, Roberts was already in custody for an unrelated matter.
Officers questioned Roberts about the robbery but he refused to say anything other than ‘no comment’.
He was subsequently charged with the offence and pleaded guilty to it at Chester Crown Court on Monday 23 March.
Roberts was sentenced on the same day. He was jailed for five years and three months and must now also serve the four-month custodial sentence that was previously suspended.
Following sentencing, Detective Constable Sophie Pennington said: “I am delighted that Gareth Roberts is now behind bars, where he can no longer be a threat to the public.
“Five days after being given a suspended prison sentence for sexually assaulting a 25-year-old woman, he assaulted and robbed a 71-year-old man.
“Roberts assaulted him from behind with a roof tile he had picked up off the ground.
“He had previously picked up a large stick as he followed the victim, before deciding to drop it as they approached a pub.
“Thankfully, the victim was able to be discharged from hospital the day after he was assaulted and robbed.
“He received treatment for the head and facial injuries he sustained but the consequences of the incident could have been much worse.
“I hope that the custodial sentence Roberts has been handed by Chester Crown Court gives the victim some closure and enables him to move forward with his life.
“I also hope that this case deters others from committing similar offences.”