Would-be Ipswich robber jailed for 'erratic' phone snatch bid

Ipswich crown court with trees

Niall Horn has been jailed for 44 weeks for the attempted robbery in Ipswich - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A mentally ill man who tried to snatch a woman’s mobile phone out of her hand during an attempted robbery in Ipswich town centre has been jailed for 44 weeks. 

The woman was walking along Princes Street at around 8pm and was on her phone when she was approached by 34-year-old Niall Horn, who started talking to her, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

He tried to snatch her phone out of her hand and, despite a struggle, she managed to keep hold of the phone, said David Wilson, prosecuting. 

The woman managed to flag down a passing car and the police were contacted. 

Horn was seen in Handford Road and was arrested shortly afterwards after initially running off. 

He was found in possession of bank cards in the name of a woman who lived in Alderman Road, Ipswich, whose handbag had been stolen from her kitchen the same evening as the attempted robbery. 

Mr Wilson said Horn told police he had found the contents of the stolen handbag in a park. 

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Horn, of no fixed address, admitted attempted robbery and theft by finding on July 17 last year. 

Richard English, for Horn, said his client had mental health issues and described the attempted robbery as “half hearted and erratic”. 

The court heard that Horn was made the subject of a hospital order in 2009 following a robbery conviction. 

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