A homeless man has been jailed for robbing a Good Samaritan who offered him shelter in his flat.
Russell Lambert left victim Gavin Massey with two black eyes after forcing him to hand over his cash card and tell him his PIN number.
Neighbours found Mr Massey with a bloodied face after neighbours in Barnstaple heard the commotion from his home as Lambert beat hi up and took his card and phone.
Lambert had only been out of prison for a few days and the victim agreed to let him stay as a favour, only for his generosity to be repaid by drunken violence.
The attacker failed to get any money out of the two cash machines in the centre of Barnstaple and later handed himself into police when he learned they were looking for him.
Lambert, aged 32, whose last known address was in Church Grove, Barnstaple, admitted robbery and was jailed for two years by Judge John Neligan at Exeter Crown Court.
The judge told him:”Mr Massey had given you somewhere to stay on your release from prison but you attacked him and robbed him and took his wallet by using force.
“I have seen the photographs and he was pretty badly beaten up. I am able to give you maximum credit for pleading guilty because you went to the police station and handed yourself in.”
Mr David Sapiecha, prosecuting, said Mr Massey suffers from water on the brain and is a vulnerable man living in supported accommodation at Brannams Square in Barnstaple.
He agreed to allow Lambert to stay at his home but after a day’s drinking he ordered his host to hand over his bank card.
Mr Sapiecha said:”He asked him the PIN number and he refused to tell him and Lambert started punching him in the face. He did so at least two times and the victim suffered two black eyes, a cut to his face and lip and a bruised shoulder.
“Neighbours heard shouts and Mr Massey calling out the PIN number and called the police.”
He said Lambert has 18 previous convictions and had only come out of jail 18 days before the robbery after being sentenced for a theft in which he stole a card and used it to obtain money.
Mr Richard Crabb, defending, said his client is determined to tackle the drink and drug problems which have caused his offending.
He said he has no history of violence and this offence is far more serious than anything he has done in the past.
He said:”He has shown he is capable of not offending. There was a seven year period where he settled down and worked as a chef but his relationship with his partner ended and it all fell apart.
“He describes himself as being gutted at what he has done.”