A former soldier deliberately mowed down a man with his motorbike before robbing and beating him.
Disgraced Lee Bryan, 31, has been locked upfor five years over the attack, which happened while he was already subject to a suspended jail term for a violent attack.
His 66-year-old victim did not live to see justice done, dying less than two months after the attack from unrelated causes.
Judge Graham Knowles branded it “a terrible, brutal offence.”
Preston’s Sessions House Court heard in the early hours of February 1, Mr Rooney, from Cheltenham Road, North Shore, had been walking home from the railway station when he was knocked to the ground.
Prosecuting, Jeremy Grout Smith said: “He was knocked to the ground by someone riding a motorcycle. The man got off the bike and said: ‘You called me something’. It was some sort of ploy by the defendant. He then said: ‘You better give me your money or I’ll give you a good kicking’.”
Bryan then assaulted him while he was still on the ground. He kicked his victim to the leg and punched his right arm. But the assault did not end there. Bryan then took off his helmet and battered Mr Rooney’s head with it.
Bryan was later seen on his motorbike by police who pulled him over.
A breath test showed he was nearly double the legal drink drive limit.
In an interview he admitted robbery and drink driving.
Bryan, of Talbot Road, Blackpool, served in the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment from the age of 18 to 20, when he was discharged on medical grounds.
Defending, Paul Robinson said: “He is at a loss to explain why he should set upon this man minding his own business.”
Bryan was banned from the road for 42 months.