A violent mugger, who dragged his octogenarian victim off a bus and to the ground as he snatched £1,500 cash, was jailed for seven years yesterday.
John O'Rourke, 41, (pictured) of Lytham Close, Thamesmead pounced on the 82 year-old victim – who died two months later – as they travelled on a number 53 bus towards Plumstead on September 9, last year.
He pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court, which also ruled he should spend an additional five years on licence when he is released.
They both boarded the bus in Woolwich New Road and sat on the lower deck, where O'Rourke sneaked up on the victim from behind and tried to put his hand inside the pensioner's shirt pocket.
The victim reacted and tried to prevent O'Rourke from stealing his money, resulting in a struggle and the defendant dragging the man off the bus and onto the ground.
Members of the public, who came to his aid, were told by O'Rourke that he was just "helping the victim".
The pensioner was dragged to Waverley Crescent, Plumstead where O'Rourke stole his wallet and left him on the ground.
Following the robbery officers conducted a number of CCTV enquiries and identified footage of the incident.
Greenwich Borough PCSO Pan Psarias - a super-recogniser, who is highly skilled in recalling faces and details - viewed the footage and immediately recognised O'Rourke.
A warrant was executed at his home address and a pair of shoes identical to those O'Rourke can be seen wearing in the CCTV footage was found.
Detective Constable Stephanie Walker, of Greenwich Borough police, said: "O'Rourke targeted a vulnerable, frail man and did not care about the hurt or fright he caused him.
“He subjected the victim to a prolonged attack and did not stop until he finally stole his cash.
“Sadly the victim died just two months later and whilst there are no links between his death and the robbery, I have witnessed first hand the damage caused by this crime and how it affected the victim's confidence."