A former Olympic boxing prospect has been jailed after he stole a pensioner’s handbag to fuel his heroin habit.
Travis Kaute, 25, was crowned amateur welterweight champion for Devon and Cornwall in 2011 and dreamt of representing GB at the London games.
But he is now starting a 24-week prison sentence thanks to three have-a-go heroes who chased him when he mugged a 74-year-old woman.
The two men and a woman pursued him for half an hour through the street and gardens of Penzance, Cornwall, where police joined in and eventually arrested him.
Kaute was then released on bail – and committed three shop burglaries over the next few days.
Kaute, from Penzance, admitted the burglaries and was jailed by magistrates in Truro.
He told the police he had a heroin habit costing him £20 a day and needed money to score.
Police praised the trio who chased after Kaute and helped them identify him.
They included environmental worker Martin Weeks, 24, who Kaute threatened to stab when he caught up with him.
Martin said: “I grabbed hold of him and he said ‘if you don’t let me go I’m going to have you with a knife’.
“So I let him go but kept chasing. You don’t think about being scared, he’d taken an old lady’s bag so I had to chase him, I’d do it again.
“I just keep thinking about the lady and I hope she feels a bit safer now.”
Defending, Terry Eastwood said Kaute – who has previous convictions – was a part-time fisherman as well as an extremely good boxer.
He was a schoolboy champion for Devon and Cornwall and planned to turn professional at the end of this year.
Magistrates ordered him to pay the elderly lady the #70 which was found on him at the time of the arrest.
Detective Constable Yvan Clarke said: “If it weren’t for these three members of the public we probably wouldn’t have been able to identify him.”
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