A “brazen” mugger who silently robbed a 63-year-old man as he walked through Perth city centre has been jailed.
Sammy Townsley attacked his victim in the shadow of St Paul’s Church before walking off with his mobile phone, glasses and £10 in cash.
The robbery took just 26 seconds, Perth Sheriff Court heard.
Townsley, who was forced to cancel a court video call last week because he was “under the influence” in his cell, admitted assaulting and robbing Colin Gorrie on May 18.
The 30-year-old was sentenced to 20 months behind bars.
Extensive criminal record
Fiscal depute Marie Lyons said: “Mr Townsley has an extensive offending record, mostly for crimes of dishonesty.
“Notably he has three convictions involving robbery.”
She said: “Mr Gorrie is not known to the accused.
“At about 8pm, he left his home address and went to the Old Ship Inn in Skinnergate, Perth.
“He consumed two pints of beer within the pub.
“He left at about 9.30pm and walked along the High Street towards his home.
“On the way, he stopped at Sainbury’s to purchase food.
“At 9.40pm, he was walking near St Paul’s Church, when he was approached by the accused who was walking in the opposite direction.
“He appeared to be holding banknotes in his hand.
“The accused asked Mr Gorrie if he could change two £5 notes for a £10 note.
“Mr Gorrie said no and continued walking.
“At this time, the accused grabbed him by the top left of his jacket and pulled him towards himself.
“The accused proceeded to place his right hand into Mr Gorrie’s jacket pocket.
“He removed a £10 note, before putting his hand into another pocket and taking his mobile phone and glasses.”
No words said
Ms Lyons said: “The accused then walked away in the general direction of the city centre.
“He did not say anything to Mr Gorrie while searching through his pockets.”
The court heard Mr Gorrie was left in “a state of fear and alarm” and went to the Ormand Bar to get help.
Staff told him the incident had been captured on their CCTV.
The footage was later reviewed by police, said Ms Lyons.
Officers interviewed Mr Gorrie and showed him a book of mugshots which included a photo of Townsley.
“Mr Gorrie immediately identified the accused,” Ms Lyons said.
Solicitor Paul Ralph, representing Townsley, said: “This appears to be a fairly brazen offence.
“It is fortunate that there was no injury. It could have been much worse.”
‘Sober and apologetic’
Mr Ralph said his client had “battled addictions” all of his life but when Townsley separated from his partner-of-14 years he “spiralled downwards”.
He said: “To use his words, he hit the drugs bad.
“He was taking whatever he could get, particularly street valium.
“He appears today sober and apologetic.”
Sheriff Eric Brown jailed Townsley for 20 months.
Townsley, who previously stayed at St Catherine’s Square, Perth, was in the dock earlier this year for a theft at a locked down McDonald’s restaurant.
The court heard he walked into the Dunkeld Road diner on March 11 – during strict Covid restrictions – and helped himself to fries.
As a teenager, Townsley stole a Mercedes limousine hearse from outside a funeral director in Perth and crashed it into a barrier and telegraph pole.