A MUGGER who targeted a drinker in an alley as he was making his way home during the early hours of the morning has been jailed.

Mark Poretta robbed the man in Newport city centre as his victim went to catch a taxi following a night out with friends.

The 46-year-old defendant knocked the complainant to the floor after he pounced on him from behind in Carpenters Arms Lane last summer.


Poretta stole the man’s wallet, driver’s licence and £40 cash and used credit cards to buy goods from a shop a few days later.

Despite police having found DNA linking him to the robbery the defendant denied attacking him and claimed he had pickpocketed his victim.

He was found guilty of robbery following a trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.

Poretta, of Somerton Park, Newport, had pleaded guilty to fraud.

During the defendant’s sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court, Andrew Kendall, prosecuting, read a statement made by the victim’s ex-wife.

She told how the robbery had left her former husband “distressed and upset”.

The defendant had 42 previous convictions for 103 offences.

Poretta was jailed for four years in 2013 for robbery after he punched a man for his iPhone, also in Newport city centre.

William Bebb, mitigating, said his client was homeless during the time of the offences after separating from his wife and had turned to alcohol.

His barrister added: “The offending was unsophisticated in nature.

“It was a desperate and short lived incident.”

Judge Hywel James told Poretta: “On Saturday, August 28, 2021 at around 1.50am the victim was robbed after being out with friends.

“He was walking down Carpenters Arms Lane heading towards a taxi rank intending to go home.

“CCTV indicated he was intoxicated.

“You followed him into the lane and you then jumped upon him from behind causing him to fall to the ground.

“You reached into his back trouser pocket to steal his wallet and you ran away leaving the victim on the floor.”

The judge added: “It was a street robbery of a vulnerable individual in Newport city centre but there was no use of a weapon.

“I am satisfied that you targeted your victim because he was intoxicated and alone.

“Your criminal record is an appalling one.

“The public when they go out socially in city centres require to know they will be safe not be set upon and robbed.”

Poretta was jailed for four years and ordered to pay a victim surcharge following his release from prison.