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Thamesmead robber who dragged elderly man along road to steal wallet jailed

PUBLISHED: 09:25 01 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:32 01 April 2014

John O'Rourke, 41, of Thamesmead, was jailed for seven years.

John O'Rourke, 41, of Thamesmead, was jailed for seven years.

Archant

A robber who dragged an elderly man to the ground and stole £1,500 has been jailed for seven years.

John O’Rourke, 41, of Lytham Close, Thamesmead, pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said he approached his 82-year-old victim while he was travelling on the 53 bus in Woolwich on September 9 last year.

They were seated on the lower deck when O’Rourke came up behind him and attempted to put get the pensioner’s wallet, containing £1,500, out of his shirt pocket.

When the man tried to stop him, O’Rourke pulled the victim off the bus and on to the ground.

Worried onlookers were told by O’Rourke that he was just “helping the victim”.

The victim was dragged to Waverley Crescent, Plumstead where O’Rourke stole his wallet before leaving him on the floor.

The man died two months later, although there was no link with the robbery.

O’Rourke was identified from CCTV and arrested in November.

Det Cons Stephanie Walker said: “O’Rourke targeted a vulnerable, frail man and did not care about the hurt or fright he caused him.

“He subjected the victim to a prolonged attack and did not stop until he finally stole his cash.”

He will be on extended licence for five years.

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