A woman on a night out in Sheffield city centre had her mobile phone stolen by a ‘hugger mugger’.
The victim had been to Corporation nightclub with friends and was waiting outside a takeaway on Division Street when she was targeted.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Mukhtar Bilbeena, aged 33, approached the 21-year-old woman, grabbed hold of her and hugged her.
“She felt his hands go to her back pocket of her jeans and her jacket pocket,” said Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting.
“While the defendant was hugging her, her friend came out of the takeaway and she alerted her to what was happening.
“The defendant ran from the scene and was chased on to West Street by the women where they lost him.”
Miss Hollis said Sheffield town hall CCTV operators saw the incident and passed a description of Bilbeena on to the police.
He was arrested on Broad Lane and found to have the victim’s BlackBerry Torch smart phone with him.
Bilbeena, an Albanian asylum seeker from Merseyside, told police he’d come to Sheffield to visit a friend but couldn’t remember the incident.
Miss Hollis said he was on bail for a similar offence committed in Merseyside and had been due to answer bail the next day.
She added he had ten similar offences recorded against him which included thefts of mobile phones stolen from womens’ handbags in bars and nightclubs.
Jailing him for six months, Judge Paul Camp said: “A custodial sentence is unavoidable here.”