A woman walking to work was put through a ‘terrifying’ ordeal after a man grabbed her from behind in the street and put his hand across her mouth, a court heard.
Matthew Holmes, 25, approached the woman on Travis Street, close to Piccadilly Station, Manchester Evening News reported.
As she was grabbed, she was pushed to her knees and Holmes started to drag her to an alleyway, Manchester Crown Court heard.
But he ran off after she screamed and bit his hand.
Now Holmes, from Flixton, Trafford, has been locked up for 26 months.
Prosecutors said the woman was walking to work at about 6am, on Sunday, August 11.
CCTV played in court showed Holmes, wearing a white t-shirt, approach her from behind.
“Though this was a short-lived event and you did desist, it was, and must have been, terrifying for the complainant,” Judge Elizabeth Nicholls told Holmes.
The judge questioned why Holmes, who she said had enjoyed ‘advantages in life’, ‘support’ and ‘good employment’, would commit such an offence.
He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery.
In a statement read in court by prosecutor Helen Longworth, the victim said she suffers from nightmares regularly. She said the stress of the ordeal has caused her to lose her hair.
She said she doesn’t feel safe while walking to work.
The woman said she could smell ‘intoxicants’ on Holmes’ breath during the attack.
Holmes initially told police he had earlier been with a sex worker and that his watch had gone missing.
He said he thought his victim was the same woman and that he was trying to get his watch back.
Prosecutors did not accept this account.
Investigations revealed Holmes’ DNA was found in her mouth after she bit him in self defence.
Police were able to track down Holmes through a t-shirt he was wearing, which related to a ‘derelict exploring’ Facebook page he ran.
Defending, Alex Leach said the incident was-short lived and that Holmes has displayed contrition.
He said there was ‘absolutely no thought’ put into committing the offence.
The court heard Holmes has no previous convictions, and that he had a ‘strong academic record’ as well as sporting achievements.
He comes from a ‘hard working and decent’ family who continue to support him, Mr Leach said.
Sentencing, Judge Nicholls told Holmes: “You have stolen her independence from her, and her self confidence.
“She is anxious and it has impacted upon her work and social life.”
The judge accepted Holmes, of Overdale Crescent, Flixton, had shown ‘real remorse’.