A THUG who robbed a woman of cash she had just taken from a supermarket cashpoint has been jailed for a year.

Drug addict Alan Holden wrenched veterinary nurse Karen Owens' arm as she tried to cling onto the £100 she had just withdrawn for her father to give his grandaughter as a birthday present.

The 31-year-old succeeded in grabbing the money but was caught and arrested a short distance from the Morrisons store at Harwood by an off-duty police officer.

He appeared at Bolton Crown Court via a video link and, jailing him, Recorder Peter Atherton told him: "This was an awful offence.

"I recognise that life has not been altogether easy for you but that is still no excuse for committing offences."

Robert Smith, prosecuting, told the court how Mrs Owens had gone to the cash machine at Morrisons at 6.45pm on November 18 to withdraw cash.

"It was quite dark but the area was reasonably well lit and as she was doing so she heard a male, the defendant, and he asked her for the time," said Mr Smith.

"She replied she didn't have it and carried on and when she went to withdraw the money and put it in her bag, the defendant grabbed the money.

"There was a struggle. She held onto the money and describes herself as being scared and shocked and also annoyed that someone was trying to take money that belonged to her father."

Mrs Owens suffered pain in her arm and Holden ran off with the cash towards the patrol station but it is believed he dropped some of it as only £60 was found on him when he was caught.

Holden, of Hengist Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to robbery. The court heard he has a lengthy criminal record for offences including thefts and assault, but not robbery.

Andrew Costello, defending, said Holden had fallen foul of drug addiction and the need to service it.

"During the pandemic lockdown his drug problems have taken a hold of him," said Mr Costello, who added that Holden had not planned to commit robbery.

"He saw an opportunity and he seized that opportunity.

"Through me, he wishes to express sincere remorse to the victim."

Recorder Atherton told Holden: "To grab a young woman at a cash machine, trying to rip her money off her that night, a big, strong chap like you — that's not minor crime in my view.

"It is a serious crime and it has a lasting effect on people. What on earth goes on in your head to do such a thing?

"It has got to stop."