Robber headbutted and punched student at cashpoint for sake of £10

A robber who attacked a student at a cashpoint with a headbutt and punches for the sake of £10 has been jailed.

David De Costa was drunk and in a takeaway when he spotted the second year Sunderland University undergraduate going to withdraw cash nearby.

A court heard he stood behind him then pushed him out of the way as the money was dispensed, telling him to “f*** off”.

The student bravely tried to stick up for himself and was headbutted and punched by De Costa, who then tried to push him over some barriers.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim called police and courageously stayed at the scene despite the fact the bully was chasing him and continuing to be aggressive.

Anne Richardson, prosecuting, said the attack happened on August 21 after the victim had finished at the university library around 9pm and headed to the city centre for food.

De Costa, who was waiting for his takeaway, saw him at the ATM and decided to prey on him.

Miss Richardson said: “The victim tried to stick up for himself and pushed him back but he refused to move and they were face to face, holding each other.

“The defendant headbutted him in his left eye, causing his head to snap back.

“The student hit out to try to defend himself and the defendant punched him more than once.

“He then grabbed the complainant and pushed him onto a barrier with his forearm across his neck. He thought he was trying to push him over the barrier.”

The victim broke free but was pursued by De Costa, who had his cap at one point and threw it to the ground.

De Costa then went back into the takeaway to get his food and, appearing to realise the police were on their way, came out and tried to shake the victim’s hand.

When he refused to shake it, he was attacked again before the police arrived and found the victim’s £10 in the robber’s pocket.

De Costa, 33, of Baker Street, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to robbery and was jailed for 40 months by Recorder Ian Mullarkey.

The judge told him: “He was going about his lawful business and was targeted and attacked by you in a drink-fuelled, violent and sustained attack.

“He showed commendable fortitude and courage and nerve waiting in your vicinity for the police to attend.

“Happily, he did not suffer any physical injuries but he describes being fearful of going out in case he should be attacked again.”

Vic Laffey, defending, said De Costa was remorseful, adding: “He has no recollection of the incident, he believes his drink may have been spiked.”

Chronicle Live – Sunderland