A STREET mugger who followed a young woman for 10 minutes before robbing her at night has been jailed for 32 months.

Anthony John Callaghan, 22, attacked her from behind and threatened to kill her if she didn’t hand over her bag, said Rob Galley, prosecuting.

She struggled to hold onto the bag but he wrestled it off her and ran off.

Mr Galley said the woman had realised Callaghan was following her along Tadcaster Road and had sat in a bus shelter in the hope he would leave her alone.

But after she set off again, he attacked her.

Recorder Richard Woolfall said Callaghan told a probation officer he “enjoyed the feeling of power that she was frightened” but not in a sexual way.

“It is worrying you selected this young female,” the judge told Callaghan at York Crown Court. “These are the actions of a coward and a bully.”

For Callaghan, Steven Garth said he had been diagnosed as having severe learning difficulties as a child.

“The defendant himself is baffled as to why he acted as he did. He was extremely drunk.

“It is something of a mystery that a seemingly decent young man with his future in front of him should suddenly commit this very serious offence.”

Callaghan, of Wains Road, Dringhouses, admitted robbery and was jailed for 32 months. He was identified by a public appeal in The Press following the robbery at 1.50am on August 2.

The woman’s father said: “It is a shock to think that something like this happened in York.

“My daughter’s looking to put this behind her and move on with the rest of her life. Knowing that justice has been served is a great help.”

In a victim personal statement, the woman said the attack had affected her psychologically and had led to her having to change her work pattern. She had been on her way home after a late shift when she was robbed.