A swaggering thug who boasted to police about kicking a disabled man down a set of stairs “like Bruce Lee” has been jailed for four years.
Dean Smith, 46, launched the cowardly attack on Gary Hackney, 60, while he waited for a coffee shop to open outside a shopping centre at 8.45am on June 7.
A court heard the drug addict had been arguing with two men before he turned his attentions to the victim who had been minding his own business.
But when Mr Hackney tried to walk away from the altercation, the yob smashed him from behind with a metal chair and kicked him down a flight of steps.
Smith then stood on the elderly man’s hand and made off with his phone, leaving him injured outside the Intu Shopping Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.
After being arrested unrepentant Smith bragged to officers how he had kicked his victim “just like Bruce Lee“.
Smith, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery and theft and was jailed at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on Friday (13/11).
Sentencing, Judge Paul Glenn said: “In your police interview the only comment you made was on the quality of the kick you administered, comparing it to one from Bruce Lee.
“What does that say about you?
“I’ve seen the sickening CCTV footage of the incident.
“You brandished the chair in a threatening way and kicked him from behind down a flight of stairs, took the phone and left.
“[The victim] was crying and shaken, and his walking stick which is of sentimental value was broken.
“Instead, you only commented about your kick and rendered it to one of Bruce Lee.
“I hope you’ll be better equipped to face life after prison.”
Prosecutor Rupert Jones said Smith was living in the shopping centre’s car park when he approached Mr Hackney, who uses a walking stick due to mobility problems.
After Mr Hackney saw Smith arguing with two other men, Smith made “bizarre and concerning” comments that caused Mr Hackney to walk away.
Mr Jones added: “The defendant picked up a metal chair, pointed the legs towards Mr Hackney and thrust it towards his legs.
“Mr Hackney then called the police from his mobile phone and walked to the top of a flight of steps.
“The defendant approached him from behind and kicked him, causing him to fall down the stairs.”
Smith went down to the victim and stood on the hand in which he was holding his phone. There was a further struggle before Smith took Mr Hackney’s phone.
The victim was left with bruising, grazing and swelling but no serious injury following the attack.
The court heard Smith later went into a shop and distracted the assistant in order to steal her iPhone.
Both offences – which were committed while he was on police bail – were caught on CCTV.
The court was told Smith, who has long-term drug and alcohol problems, has convictions dating back to the age of 13 and was leading a ‘chaotic’ life.
Stuart Muldoon, defending, said: “Mr Smith acknowledges this was a cowardly attack against a vulnerable individual and he is ashamed of his actions.”