Mental health visitor tells of struggle with attacker who tried to steal car

A community mental health worker was attacked by a man trying to steal her car as she returned to her vehicle from a home visit, a court heard.

The 54-year-old victim realised there were two men walking behind her in Whitestone Lane, Fartown, Huddersfield, on March 28 as she walked towards her Audi car.

One man then walked away but the other continued behind her and after she opened the driver’s door with her key fob and got inside the door, suddenly in her words it “flew open” again, Patrick Gallagher prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court yesterday.

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Her attacker, Mark Greenwood, grabbed the keys and took hold of her clothes, pulling her so violently out of the car she fell to the ground.

She began screaming for help with Greenwood telling her to shut up.

When she tried to get up he punched her in the chest, knocking her back down and at some point either stamped on or kicked her right ankle.

Greenwood then got into the car and was fumbling with the keys when his victim tried to grab them back before she was punched again in her chest.

Mr Gallagher said she could not let go of the keys because her jewellery had become entangled in the key ring and when she was knocked to the ground again the fob snapped.

Greenwood then said: “It’s not worth it” and walked off towards a house nearby.

His victim contacted police and Greenwood was quickly arrested. The court heard he had previous convictions for dishonesty, including sentences totalling seven and a half years in 2005 for robbery, attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.

Greenwood, 37 of Longroyd Crescent, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield admitted assault with intent to rob and was jailed for four years four months.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC said it was a “dreadful offence” involving a serious attack on a “vulnerable person performing a public service in her work.”

Stephen Grattage for Greenwood said he had managed to stay out of trouble for a couple of years but alcohol was a problem for him.