A man has been jailed after carrying out two unprovoked attacks in Worthing.
Sussex Police said 42-year-old Alex Gilbertson, who is unemployed and of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to theft and two counts of assault by beating at Crawley Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (October 15).
It followed two incidents on Sunday (October 13) where Gilbertson assaulted two members of the public, before being pursued on a bicycle until a member of the public kicked him to the ground.
The first incident occurred at about 2.40pm when a local man parked his van in Clifton Road and was approached by an unknown man, later identified as Gilbertson, who leaned on his vehicle, said police.
After asking him politely not to touch it, police said, the victim was punched in the ribs and the suspect made off on a bicycle once police were called.
At around 5.35pm the same day, police said the same suspect entered the Co-op in Ham Road and stole milk and chicken wings valued at £5.30.
After being confronted by a member of staff, Gilbertson responded by headbutting him and again made off on his bike, police said.
Police said they then carried out a search of the area and located him in nearby Chesswood Road and gave chase.
A quick-thinking member of the public spotted the pursuit and kicked Gilbertson's bike, police said, causing him to fall to the ground.
He was remanded in custody and on Tuesday was sentenced to a total of 24 weeks’ imprisonment and ordered to pay £75 compensation to each of his victims.
Magistrates said the deliberate attacks, and his flagrant disregard for people and their property, were taken into account on sentencing.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “We’d like to thank the community for their patience and understanding as we dealt with this incident, which involved a number of officers pursuing the defendant on a bike.
“We’d also like to thank the member of the public whose quick-thinking actions helped us to detain this man and bring him to justice.”
A report of an assault at Worthing railway station that afternoon is being investigated by the British Transport Police.