Robber stole to buy drugs

A prolific robber who preyed on members of the public in south Birmingham to fund his drug addiction has been jailed for six years.

Andrew Bourke struck three times in Moseley – just yards from his home address – in May this year but fled with no more than a combined total of £20 and a packet of cigarettes.

Andrew Bourke
Bourke has been jailed for six years 

The 38-year-old attacked a woman waiting at a bus stop in Alcester Road, near the Texaco petrol station, on the evening of May 6 and punched her to the face before biting her and trying to snatch her handbag.

A Good Samaritan intervened and recovered the bag as Bourke ran off with only the 36-year-old’s cigarettes.

Minutes later in Alcester Road, he asked a 33-year-old man for spare change – and then took £11.50 from his wallet as he threatened to produce a knife.

And on 28 May, a 53-year-old man reported being robbed by a man, again in Alcester Road, who ran off with change he kept in a woolly hat.

All three victims said they recognised the man as living locally and provided the name “Danny”.

West Midlands Police detectives suspected the pseudonym belonged to Bourke – a prolific offender with 15 convictions for theft and robbery – and arrested him from his flat in Trafalgar Road, Moseley, on 31 May.

He initially denied involvement but after being picked out by all three victims in an identity parade went on to admit three counts of robbery.

And at Birmingham Crown Court he was jailed for six years.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Craig Tennant, described Bourke as a “horrible bully” who preyed on people he believed he could take money from. 

He added: “There is no doubt that residents in the Moseley area are safer going about their daily business with Bourke locked away. 

“He has committed some horrible offences in the past, ones against vulnerable victims, and I’m pleased the courts have handed down a significant custodial sentence.”

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