A 21-year-old Syrian man pushed an elderly woman to the ground and stole money he had seen her win from a pokies machine earlier that night, a court has heard.

Zaryan Ahmed was sentenced in the Waitakere District Court today to community detention and community work.

On the night of the attack, Ahmed was high on drugs and alcohol and had lost money on the pokies machine, the court heard.

He saw the 79-year-old victim win $360 on the same machine.


The woman walked to her car and Ahmed followed her. He pushed her to the ground causing her to suffer a laceration to her head that required stitches, and stole her winnings.

Ahmed was arrested and charged with theft and injuring the woman in a manner that if she were to die he would be charged with manslaughter.

He plead guilty to both charges.

Ahmed had struggled to adjust to life in New Zealand after emigrating here at age six, a report read at his sentencing said.

Judge John Bergseng said he took in to consideration Ahmed's remorse when handing down his sentence.