An East Corrimal man who assaulted and robbed a bus driver then tried to steal a woman's handbag as she walked to her front doorstep has narrowly escaped time behind bars.
Ronal Ivan Reid, 24, told Wollongong District Court this week he was so drunk on the afternoon of Sunday, january 7 last year that he can't remember much of what he did, but apologised for the pain and fear he'd caused the victims, saying his attacks must have left them "horrified".
"My behaviour that day was wrong and unacceptable," he said.
"In my right mind I never would have done anything like that."
Court documents said Reid was on a Premier Illawarra bus travelling east on Burelli Street in Wollongong when he approached the driver and asked to be let off near the Salvation Army store.
As he was leaving the bus, Reid reached into the money till and took a handful of coins. The driver picked up his mobile phone to take a picture of Reid, prompting Reid to hop back on the bus, grab the till, step back off the bus and tip the contents on the ground.
"Where are the notes?" Reid demanded, before throwing the till at the driver and walking off.
A short time later, Reid attended a friend's unit on Church Street and asked for a lift to Balgownie. The couple let him out near Balmoral Street, where Reid noticed a woman walking towards a townhouse while carrying a handbag on her shoulder and a large number of parcels and boxes in her arms.
Reid walked up behind the woman and grabbed her handbag, yelling "give me your bag".
The woman screamed but kept hold of the bag, causing her to fall on the ground as Reid tried to wrestle it from her. Reid dragged the woman part-way across the pavement until her screams alerted a neighbour, who came to her aid, prompting Reid to run off.
The confrontation left the woman with grazes to her shoulder, knee, shin and elbow and her dress torn all the way down her right side.
Meanwhile, Reid was arrested 90 minutes later. He refused a polie interview but admitted stealing change from the bus driver because "he was a smartarse".
Reid was charged with assault with intent to rob and larceny, to which he pleaded guilty.
The court heard he'd had a disadvantaged upbringing with long-standing drug and alcohol issues however was now "clean and sober".
Judge Andrew Haesler described Reid's behaviour that day as "nasty, petty and unnecessary" but accepted he had undergone significant rehabilitation since committing the crimes.
He sentenced Reid to a 22-month intensive corrections order, with 100 hours of community service work.