A MUGGER punched a young woman waiting for a taxi to the ground before stealing her handbag during a “terrifying” robbery.

Cassandra Holland, 29, attacked her victim late at night in Newport after taking a “cocktail of alcohol and drugs”.

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The complainant was waiting to take a cab home at a taxi rank near the city centre’s main bus station following a night out.

Marian Lewis, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court: “From nowhere she received a punch to the right side of the head just above her eye.


“She wobbled, she fell to the floor, she can’t remember exactly what happened but she was conscious of the fact she was still being struck whilst on the ground.

“The victim tried to defend herself and this person was saying to her, ‘Give me your bag, just give it to me’ as she was hitting her.

“She remembers her bag was being tugged from her during the incident.

“This person managed to get hold of her bag and ran off leaving her on the floor.”

The victim still had her mobile phone and called for help.

Holland was later identified by police after they studied CCTV footage of the area.

She had robbed her victim of £30, her passport, bank card and house keys.

Miss Lewis said of the complainant: “This was a vulnerable woman on her own late at night.”

After she was taken into custody by police, the defendant spat at Sergeant Cameron Duncan.

Officers also found crack cocaine on her.

Holland, of no fixed abode, Newport, pleaded guilty to robbery, assaulting an emergency worker and possession of a class A drug.

The offences took place between the night of January 27 and the early hours of January 28.

She has 17 previous convictions for 41 offences which include burglary and assaulting an emergency worker.

Gareth Williams, representing Holland, said: “This was motivated because she had a drug problem at the time.

“This was an unsophisticated attempt to get cash to buy some more drugs, it’s as simple as that.

“And of course she was found in possession of crack cocaine, which is probably the most evil of all drugs because it makes you so addicted to it and it makes you do things like this.”

Mr Williams added his client had a “difficult background and upbringing” and wanted to say sorry to her victims.

The judge, Recorder IWL Jones, said: “This must have terrifying for the victim of the robbery and you spat at a police officer who was just doing his job. It’s disgusting.”

Holland was jailed for three years and ordered to pay a victim surcharge following her release from prison.