Reggie Oliver, 46, has been jailed for a total of six years after he was found guilty of attacking two pensioners during an attempted robbery in Brixton last September.
Police had released video footage of him following the two (above) near their home.
Oliver, of no fixed address, received six years for attempted robbery and two years for grievous bodily harm at Inner London Crown Court last week. The sentences will run concurrently.
He had pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and grievous bodily harm at the same court in December.
On Friday 2 September police were called at about 2pm to a report of an attempted robbery outside Farnfield House on Dray Gardens off St Matthew’s Road in Brixton.
About half an hour earlier, the two pensioners – an 83-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman – had withdrawn money from a bank in Brixton and put it into a shoulder bag. They then travelled homewards by bus.
As they walked along Dray Gardens, they were approached from behind by Oliver who followed them home.
He grabbed hold of the bag and pulled them both to the ground as they struggled to stop him stealing it. Oliver bit the back of the man’s hand, leaving a large open wound.
But he ran away empty-handed towards Hicken Road, leaving the woman with a fractured arm and extensive bruising. Her husband sustained cuts and bruising to his shoulder, cuts to his knee caused by being dragged along the pavement and the wound to his hand.
The victims were taken to hospital for treatment and later discharged.
After releasing the video footage, detectives identified Oliver as the suspect. He was arrested on 26 September and was charged the following day with attempted robbery.
Detective constable Shaun Greenaway said the attempted robbery had had a “profound effect” on the elderly victims, causing them no longer to feel safe in an area they they have lived for more than 40 years.
“Although there seems to be an underlying mental illness,” he said, “it appears to me that the actions of Oliver had a degree of planning and purpose.”