Pensioner held up at knifepoint in street

Marcus Gall, 28, of Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for a knife-point attempted robbery of a 66-year-old man in the street
Marcus Gall, 28, of Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for a knife-point attempted robbery of a 66-year-old man in the street
Chief Inspector Sharon Woolrich

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A DRUG addict tried to rob a 66-year-old man by holding him up with a knife and rifling through his pockets.

Marcus Gall held up his victim in Cardiff Road, North End, Portsmouth, as the pensioner walked to get a newspaper at 5.50am on February 9 this year.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard 28-year-old Gall had shouted at the victim, Gregory O’Sullivan, from across the road.

Anthony Bailey, prosecuting, said: ‘The defendant shouted at him then asked him for 70p.

“Mr O’Sullivan’s response was that he didn’t have any money.

‘The defendant crossed the road and approached Mr O’Sullivan, demanding money as he did so.

‘Mr O’Sullivan said he hadn’t got his money or his wallet. It would seem from the impact statement the only item of value in his possession was his mobile phone in the back pocket.

‘The defendant then produced a knife with a blade about 3.5in long, which he then prodded against the chest of Mr O’Sullivan, no doubt to influence his demands for money.

‘Mr O’Sullivan understandably was frightened. He allowed the defendant to pat him down in order to confirm he had no money.’

The court heard the victim shouted out to a woman passing nearby to call the police and Gall ran off.

Mr Bailey told the court that Gall had confessed the crime to his mother, telling her: ‘Look, I’ve got into serious crime with a knife.’

He also asked for an offence of theft of drugs from a pharmacy to be taken into consideration. Jailing Gall, Recorder Michael Parroy QC said: ‘Mr O’Sullivan now leaves his phone at home, goes out with an alarm, has his hand on it when he’s outside and looks around and is anxious about the people about him instead of being, if I may say so, care free.’

The judge jailed Gall for 32 months. He admitted one attempted robbery.

Jason Hallsey, defending, said: ‘We have a young man, a decent young man, with a promising future.

‘A young man who takes drugs, goes in a downwards spiral and here we go – it’s a real tragedy.’

The court heard that Gall, of Twyford Avenue, Stamshaw, had been changing his behaviour since being remanded in prison.