A PENSIONER was targeted at a cashpoint by a prolific robber who avoided going to jail despite a history of crime.

Ernest Rose, 41 of Avon Way, Shoebury received a community order after the robbery in Woodgrange Drive, Southchurch, on December 19 last year.

The court heard Rose approached the victim pushed him into the cash machine and stole £50.

The victim tried to put up a fight but Rose got away.

The court heard this was not his first conviction for robbery and he had been in prison since last December.

Judge Ian Graham said: “You are now 41-years-old and have a previous conviction and have now admitted robbery.

“Robbery is always a serious offence.

“On December 19 last year, the victim approached a cashpoint to withdraw money, he heard footsteps to his right hand side, that was you.

“He was pushed into the cashpoint, you then grabbed the money but the the victim had his wits about him and tried to stop you.

“The victim was left shaken up, has pain in his shoulder and has told me he is very wary about using cashpoints.

“This was committed while you were on a community order. There was no weapon used and the only violence was more by the way of shoving the unfortunate victim.

“The victim’s statement shows he has taken a robust approach.

“It can be said you targeted the victim as the man was of retirement age and vulnerable.

“It is clear you were suffering with mental health problems at the time and these were not being properly addressed by medication.

“You have also spent five months in custody so you have experienced prison.

“I will give you an 18-month prison sentence suspended for 18 the months.

“The conditions are that you complete the thinking and skills programme and 60 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.”

Mitigating, Christopher Whitcombe said: “The affect on the victim was not lost on Rose and he apologises to the victim.

“Regular medication for Rose’s disorder had fallen by the way side.

“This led to episodes where he believed he was at the point of winning vast amounts of money when gambling.

“He has had a gambling addiction over a number of years and has taken steps to prevent this.”