Jay Curtis-Hodge, 31, was hiding behind a pole as his then girlfriend Jennifer Lee Clarke lured the unsuspecting elderly man towards him knowing he had just withdrawn money from the bank.
Curtis-Hodge then approached Francesco “Frank” Carlino, who was using a walking stick, from behind and punched him in the head before he stomped on his face and lifted him by his pants pockets and dropped him to the ground in a Chester Hill car park in November 2014.
The pair made off with $570 dollars, including the $500 Mr Carlino had just withdrawn from the bank, and left him lying bruised and bleeding on the ground.
The District Court heard on Thursday that Curtis-Hodge had spent most of his life in prison, and had a childhood marred by physical and sexual violence and drug abuse.
He had a history of mental illness, including bipolar disorder, and overdosed on heroin as a teenager before being introduced to ice when he was 21 and in prison.
The court heard that Curtis-Hodge had told a psychologist that his attack on Mr Carlino was “putrid” and that he was “disgusted and ashamed” about what he had done.
Curtis-Hodge said he had not slept for two weeks and was consuming more than 3.2 grams of ice per day when the attack occurred shortly after he had travelled from Young to Sydney to score drugs.
“They make me feel empowered, invincible,” he told the psychologist.
Curtis-Hodge was arrested after a police pursuit, during which he mounted a footpath and drove through an alfresco dining area.
He had a long criminal history and was at the time subject to six good behaviour bonds, including two suspended sentences, and had been released from prison eight weeks earlier.
Judge Andrew Scotting said Curtis-Hodge had carried out a “cowardly, vicious” attack on a “defenceless, elderly and partially disabled man”.
“The offenders worked in in concert when they realised he had withdrawn cash and was an easy target,” Judge Scotting said.
“It appears the offender has a continuing attitude of disobedience towards the law, which I accept has been a result of his drug use.”
Curtis-Hodge was sentenced to a non-parole period of 4½ years for robbery in company, the police pursuit and two earlier intimidation charges. Counting the time he has already spent in custody, he will be eligible for parole in 2019.
Clarke was sentenced last year to a minimum one year and two months, and would have been eligible for parole in January this year.