A man branded by a judge as a dangerous offender tried to snatch a woman's handbag as she sat outside a cafe having a lunchtime coffee with friends.
Marc Morgan and his victim were involved in a "tugging match" as the woman refused to let go of her bag - resistance which left her with an injured shoulder.
The attempted robbery on a busy Swansea street was the culmination of a spate of offending which had seen the defendant smash his way into a commercial property and then viciously punch a man in the face as he stood outside a shop waiting for his girlfriend.
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Sending the 38-year-old to prison, a judge said he was satisfied Morgan posed a risk to the public and should be given an extended sentence as a dangerous offender - however that was a sentence he was not able to properly impose in this case.
Swansea Crown Court heard that Morgan's most recent spree of offending started on the evening of November 4 last year when the smashed his way into the Halford's garage on Swansea's New Cut Road.
Dean Pulling , prosecuting, said a passerby heard loud banging and the sound of breaking glass coming from the building and, when he looked, he saw a figure hitting the doors of the reception area with a large object. The witness called the police, and then watched as the intruder climbed through the smashed front door into the property.
The court heard police soon arrived on the scene but not before the burglar had made-off. However, the witness was able to give officers a description of the intruder and a man matching that description - now known to be Morgan - was found near Morgan's Hotel in the Maritime Quarter shortly afterwards. In his interview the defendant denied being responsible for the burglary, and said he had been elsewhere at the time. His footwear was seized for testing, and he was released under investigation.
The court heard that crime scene investigators subsequently recovered DNA from Halford’s, along with marks made by trainers on an internal door which had apparently been repeatedly kicked. Mr Pulling said both these forensic findings would eventually be linked to Morgan but the results did not come until after her had launched an "unprovoked" attack on a man he knew in Swansea city centre.
The court heard that on April 30, 2021, Morgan delivered a single powerful punch to the face of a man who was waiting for his girlfriend outside the Savers chemists shop on Oxford Street - the blow knocked the man to the floor, and left him with multiple fractures to his cheek, jaw, and eye socket bones.
Police began a search for Morgan, and a week later officers forced entry to a house in Waun Wen in Swansea and found the defendant hiding in a wardrobe. He subsequently gave a "no comment" interview. The following day the defendant was charged with both the burglary - the forensic test results having come through - and the Oxford Street assault, and he appeared before Swansea Magistrates Court where he entered not guilty pleas and was released on bail pending his trial.
The bag-snatch took place at lunchtime on September 21, again in the city centre.
Mr Pulling said the victim, who worked in a local shop, was sitting at a table outside the Dolphin Hotel on Whitewalls having coffee with friends when she became suspicious of a man approaching them on the busy street. Anticipating something was going to happen she gripped her handbag, and moments later Morgan swooped and tried to snatch it. The prosecutor said a "tugging match" then followed with the defendant "grunting" as he tried to take possession of the bag. Eventually the straps on the bag snapped, and Morgan ran-off towards St Mary’s Church empty handed. Police who were on patrol in the city centre rushed to the scene, and the defendant was found 15 minutes later near the railway station in High Street.
Marc John Morgan, of Waun Wen Road, Waun Wen, Swansea, had previously pleaded guilty to non-dwelling burglary, inflicting grievous bodily harm, and attempted robbery when he appeared in the dock via videolink for sentencing.
He has previous convictions for 114 offences including robbery - committed when he was aged just 13 - numerous assaults, and a total of 38 burglaries, some 33 of which are for commercial burglaries. In 2014 he was jailed for four years and eight months for assault with intent to rob and possession of a knife for an offence that had seen him grabbing a lone woman walking in the Uplands area from behind and wrestle her to the ground before biting her hand. The woman suffered cuts to her wrists during the attack.
Andrew Evans, for Morgan, said the defendant had undertaken the 12-step addiction programme while in prison, and said it was to be hoped that upon his eventual release back into the community he would "have the wherewithal" to ensure he did not return to his previous lifestyle.
Judge Christopher Vosper QC said he a had read a pre-sentence report on the defendant which concluded he posed a risk to the public and should be categorised as a dangerous offender - a conclusion with which he agreed.
However, he said given the sentence he was able to pass for the offences before the court he was not able to impose an extended sentence on the grounds dangerousness - such an extended sentence can only be imposed if a defendant is sentenced to four years or more.
With discounts for his guilty pleas Morgan was sentenced to four months for the burglary, 15 months for the GBH, and 32 months for the attempted robbery - the 15 and 32-month sentences will be run consecutively making 47 four months, while the four months will run concurrently. The defendant will serve up to half the 47 months in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.
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