A CARER who was mugged in the street said passers-by ignored her shouts for help, a court heard.

‘Large and powerful’ thug David Hindson, 33, had confronted petite Monica Cismaru as she walked home from work in the dark in Accrington town centre.

This week he was jailed for three-and-a-half years after admitting robbery and theft at Burnley Crown Court.

The hearing was told he had grabbed Miss Cismaru by the neck, demanded the phone she was speaking on and then stole her shoulder bag, containing her passport, bank cards and an iPhone.

Miss Cismaru, 39, who is from Romania, put up such a struggle her jacket ripped off.

The victim, who feared Hindson might be armed with a knife, told police she had shouted to passers-by as she was thrown about and robbed, but her cries for help had been ignored, adding to her upset.

The hearing was told the defendant, who had been abusing drugs since he was 11 and needed cash, had also felt the victim’s neck to see if she was wearing a chain, before making off with his haul.

Miss Cismaru’s iPhone was later found under a mattress at the defendant’s partner’s home, where he was living, Hindson, said to have had a cocktail of drink and drugs before he pounced, had then gone on to sneak into a house in the early hours of the next day and help himself to another mobile phone and handbag from the side of a mother who was sleeping.

The court heard Hindson had 32 offences on his record, including seven charges of possessing an offensive weapon, three of affray and four of assault.

Sarah Statham, prosecuting, said Miss Cismaru was walking through Accrington at 8.10pm on November 20.

She went past Hindson in Portland Street, where he was leaning against a wall. The victim, who was talking on her phone, then felt somebody grab her around the neck.

The prosecutor said: “She was absolutely terrified.”

Daniel King, for Hindson, said: “He was feeling depressed. He had no permanent accommodation and drink and drugs-related problems.”