A man has been sentenced to two years and one month in prison after he stalked a vulnerable elderly woman for an hour before robbing her of her pokie winnings.
Dylan Wibrow, 31, appeared in the Napier District Court before Judge Tony Adeane after pleading guilty to robbery, possession of cannabis and escaping from police custody.
On August 9, 2018, the 81-year-old woman went into a Hastings bar before shopping errands and won more than $1000 on the pokie machines.
Wibrow, who happened to be sitting at the bar, watched her claim her winnings and followed her when she left.
Wearing his work overalls, he followed the woman's movements and tracked her to Countdown where she went to do her shopping.
He removed his overalls before entering the store and continued to follow her. The stalking continued to another store where she went to pay her bills before finally venturing home to Havelock North.
Wibrow parked opposite the woman's driveway after watching her pull in. Slinging her bag over her shoulder and grabbing her groceries, the woman walked towards her front door.
As she was unlocking it, he rushed at her and shoved her to the point that she fell on a large flowerpot before falling to the ground.
Wibrow grabbed her handbag and tried to wrench it from her, but the elderly woman fought back, hanging on to it.
Pulling it from her grasp, he fled to his car and sped off. He drove to a rural area and took about $1000 from her bag before tossing it into a creek.
He visited a friend's house later on, shaving his beard in an attempt to alter his appearance.
Police identified Wibrow the next day via CCTV footage and drove to his address and observed him leaving in a different car.
They pulled him over and after identifying him and telling him he was under arrest, he fled from the police, throwing away a small bag of cannabis during the chase.
Upon catching him, he denied any involvement in the robbery.
Defence lawyer Eric Forster told Judge Adeane that Wibrow had paid the money back and had written a letter of apology to the woman.
Crown prosecutor Cameron Stuart noted that Wibrow had followed the woman for more than an hour, 70 minutes according to Hastings District Council CCTV footage.
Judge Adeane said the woman was "a highly vulnerable victim" and labelled Wibrow's actions as despicable.
The woman was granted name suppression.