May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Jane Hunt
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
A MENTALLY ill man tried to snatch £500 from a woman as she waited in a queue to pay the money into her account at a town centre bank, a court has heard.
Chanakan Cunningham had gone into the Cornhill branch of Lloyds TSB at around 12.30pm on March 30 and was writing out a deposit slip at a central stand when 34-year-old Darren Bright tried to grab the £500 cash from her, Ipswich Crown Court was told.
Richard Potts, prosecuting, said the cash had been on the stand with Mrs Cunningham’s handbag and Bright had “grabbed hard” at the money.
Mrs Cunningham tried to pull the money away from Bright and the top £20 note was torn.
Mr Potts said Bright had been abusive to Mrs Cunningham and pushed her on the side of her head.
Mrs Cunningham bravely held on to her money and Bright eventually let go and walked off.
The incident was captured on CCTV. Police officers who viewed the footage recognised Bright and he was arrested shortly afterwards.
Bright, of Colchester Road, Ipswich, admitted attempted robbery and was made the subject of a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act,
Sentencing him, Judge David Goodin said the incident must have been a terrifying experience for Mrs Cunningham.
He said two psychiatrists had diagnosed Bright as suffering from a serious mental disorder and the hospital order would mean he would receive appropriate treatment at St Clement’s Hospital in Ipswich.
Charles Myatt, for Bright, said his client had asked him to publicly apologise to Mrs Cunninghamn.
“He appreciates his behaviour was totally unacceptable and he is ashamed,” said Mr Myatt.
He said Bright was currently receiving psychiatric treatment in hospital in Ipswich and could return there after the sentencing hearing.