A young woman was robbed as she walked home alone at night after becoming “prey” for one of York’s most notorious criminals.
The 19-year-old victim had her headphones on but was aware of a menacing presence as a hooded figure rode up behind her on a bicycle, York Crown Court heard.
She quickened her stride into a “power walk” as she walked past the Lidl supermarket in James Street, Foss Islands.
“She could sense the cyclist coming (up) behind her at the side of the street,” said prosecutor Rob Galley.
“She started to walk a bit faster. She (turned) her headphone up in volume ands walked a lot faster, power walking, along the pavement.”
The bike could be seen on CCTV approaching the woman and showed the hooded figure – prolific criminal Jordan Hipkins – riding up behind her on the path.
“He then came up to her right-hand side, grabbing the back of her shoulder and neck and touching her headphones,” added Mr Galley.
Hipkins stopped the bike, reached over her shoulder and shouted, “Give me your bag”, in a “loud and aggressive voice”.
“She screamed and threw her handbag to the floor,” said Mr Galley. “Hipkins picked it up and made his way along James Street.”
CCTV showed the panic-stricken woman, who is from Oxford and was visiting friends in York, running up and down the road in terror. She called a friend who came to her aid.
The victim said that when Hipkins attacked her he was carrying a “curved item” which was about seven-to-eight inches long. She didn’t know what the object was.
Her handbag contained her purse, her bank card, a book and other items. Hipkins tried to use her bank card at the Londis store in Bridge Street shortly afterwards.
He was tracked by police using CCTV coverage and traced to a local Travelodge. He was arrested and refused to answer police questions.
Hipkins, 29, was charged with robbery and fraud. He ultimately admitted the offences and appeared for sentence today.
In a statement read out in court, the named victim said that since incident, which occurred just after midnight on September 26, she had a “sense of dread” whenever she went out. She had nightmares “about being chased down dim streets”.
When she was attacked by Hipkins she felt like a “small animal” and she now “felt like prey” whenever she walked along a street.
Jailed for manslaughter
Hipkins, formerly of North Street, York, but lately of no fixed address, had a long criminal record comprising 42 previous convictions for 76 offences including manslaughter, affray, theft, battery, carrying an offensive weapon, damaging property and resisting a police officer.
In September 2018, he was jailed for five years for manslaughter after causing the death of his friend James Moore, 44, who died from a drug overdose.
Hipkins, a heroin user, injected his friend with heroin in a shop doorway in Micklegate. The injection was with consent but tragically proved fatal after Mr Moore suffered a heart attack and brain damage.
Hipkins was on a suspended prison sentence at the time for causing actual bodily harm to a cyclist by forcing him off his bike and kicking him in the face as he tried to steal the victim’s bike.
In April last year, he was given an 18-week suspended jail sentence for a spate of thefts including the stealing of charity boxes from churches in the city centre. The robbery in York was in breach of that sentence.
Defence barrister Laura Addy said that Hipkins, who had a long-standing heroin addiction, was insistent that the object he was carrying at the time of the robbery was a bike pump and not a weapon.
She said that following his release from his latest prison sentence he had nowhere to live and ended up staying at the Travelodge in York.
Judge Simon Hickey said that Hipkins had clearly “watched and targeted” an “extremely vulnerable” lone female and had evidently robbed the victim to buy drugs. Hipkins was jailed for three years and seven months.