Newport mugger jailed for street robbery of Maindee wedding reveller
10:30am Tuesday 23rd April 2013 in News
A MOBILE phone thief who knocked out a wedding reveller after befriending him outside a Newport club has been jailed for four years.
Mark Poretta, 37, walked with Scott Skellon for up to a mile before flooring him with a "massive punch" in what was described as a "vicious" pre-planned attack.
CCTV footage played at Cardiff Crown Court showed how Poretta followed the blow with several kicks as the 24-year-old Newport man lay motionless near a Shell garage.
Poretta, of Somerton Park, Newport, is seen on the footage to turn Mr Skellon over, take his £300 phone and £60 in cash before running off.
Cardiff Judge John Jenkins gave him a four-year jail sentence on Friday, saying he had a "formidable" record including GBH, robbery and dishonesty.
He said: "This sort of offence makes people weary of walking the streets of town and cities.
"This was seen by others. It was absolutely vicious and unprovoked."
The court heard how Poretta befriended Mr Skellon as he left the unnamed bar in Newport City Centre to go home at around 3.30am on March 30, 2012.
Crown prosecutor Ieuan Bennett told the court Mr Skellon had been at a wedding reception in the Maindee area of the city the previous day.
The footage shows Poretta hanging outside the club then follow Mr Skellon as he walks home while talking to his brother on his £300 phone.
Judge Jenkins said Poretta targetted a "vulnerable" victim who had consumed alcohol.
He added: "There was at least some extent of pre-planning once you realised what Mr Skellon had and it was late at night."
The "bewildered" reveller regained consciousness before staggering to the Shell garage, the court heard.
He was taken to Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport but initial fears he had a fractured jaw were discounted after X-ray tests.
Poretta pleaded guilty to robbery at an earlier hearing.
Poretta's barrister said Stephen Jeary referred Judge Jenkins to a pre-sentence report and stressed his client had pleaded guilty to the offence.
Judge Jenkins said Poretta must serve the first two years of his sentence in prison adding he is then to be released on licence.
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