Mobile phone robber given a second chance

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A WOMAN who attacked a man and stole his mobile phone has been given a chance to turn her life around.

Stephanie McDonaugh, 20, pleaded guilty to theft and common assault when she appeared at Preston Crown Court.

The court heard McDonaugh approached the student from behind as he walked in New Hall Lane, Preston, on the morning of August 18.

She asked him the time but when the man took his Blackberry from his jeans pocket to check, she tried to snatch it out of his hand.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said: “He tried to detain her - there was a struggle and she bit his finger. He punched her in the mouth causing it to bleed.

“Two members of the public intervened pulling them apart.”

McDonaugh ran away and was seen going into a house in Scotforth Road, Fishwick. When police arrived she showed officers to the back yard, telling them she had put the phone on top of a wall.

But Mr Grout-Smith said it appeared to have fallen down a cavity and was not recovered.

McDonaugh, who appeared to be under the influence of drink or drugs, was interviewed several hours later but made no comment.

Mr David Leech, defending, said McDonaugh had secured a new address in Isherwood Street, Preston, and was keen to embark on an order to address her drug problems.

He said: “It is likely to be a long road for her.”

Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, sentencing, told McDonaugh: “You came very close to committing the offence of robbery which would have meant you would have been sentenced to custody and it seems to me that your drug abuse has led you to committing the crime you are to be sentenced for. He handed McDonaugh an 18 month community order.