AN ex-serviceman has been jailed for mugging a shopper near Selby town centre.

Brendan Ashley Keenan turned to alcohol to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder after his service abroad for his country, York Crown Court heard.

Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, said Keen, 26, grabbed shopper Simon Kirk Brown in a bear hug in the afternoon of September 10 near Market Cross, forced him to the ground and knelt on him before running off with four cans of cider the victim had just bought at Morrisons supermarket.

The mugger, who had been drinking, had previous convictions for carrying weapons, including a knuckleduster, in public.

Judge Stephen Ashurst, the Recorder of York, said: “The victim is an innocent member of the public who was making his way home with his shopping who is attacked by a drunk.”

Earlier the same day, members of the public had been getting out of Keenan’s way as, bare-chested and drunk, he tried to cadge cigarettes from passers-by.

The judge told Keenan: “You are someone who has caused very considerable nuisance and alarm to people in the area where you reside. It is clear to me that for many years you have had very distorted views about many aspects of life.”

Keenan, of no fixed address, who was in the armed forces for four years, was jailed for 18 months. He pleaded guilty to robbery.

Paul Williams, for Keenan, said his client was now getting help for his medical condition, but had been “self-medicating” himself with alcohol for some time. He had served abroad. Mr Brown’s injuries had been minor and the level of violence was low. Keenan had not planned the robbery in advance and had acted on the spur of the moment.

He did, however, have a different side and had a number of “positive qualities” as a father and a partner.

While on remand over Christmas, his partner had given birth to their child and he was now motivated to change.