A thug attacked an 80-year-old man during a supermarket car robbery then nearly ran over a mum and her daughter as he tried to escape police. 

Billy Jones, described as having an “incredible lack of empathy”, deliberately targeted a pensioner in a Sainsbury’s car park in Croydon on April 17. 

The 27-year-old told the elderly man he had a flat tyre before jumping into his car to steal it. 

A court heard that Jones assaulted the man before driving off whilst the pensioner was still hanging on to the car. 

The following day Jones was involved in a police chase through Croydon in the pensioner’s stolen Citroen C3. 

Judge Samantha Presland said: “In order to avoid the police you drove up on to the pavement where there was a mother and a pushchair, and it is only by the grace of god that they were able to get out of the way.” 

The judge added: “You could have quite easily killed them.” 

Jones, of no fixed abode, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to assault, aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving. 

Billy JonesBilly Jones (Image: Met Police)

He appeared at Croydon Crown Court for sentencing on June 10. 

Judge Presland said Jones has an extensive record of stealing cars and driving them dangerously. 

“It is clear that you are extremely dangerous behind the wheel,” she said. 

Barrister Elisenda Mitchell, defending Jones, said: “There is no explanation for Mr Jones conduct save for the fact that he recognises that his conduct on those two days was unacceptable and he regrets them 100 per cent.” 

Ms Mitchell added that Jones has a long-standing drug problem. 

However, Judge Presland told Jones: “Your counsel said this was an impulsive act to fund a drug addiction but your criminal record points to a person who is reckless, dangerous and likes speeding around in cars.” 

She added: “This is not an impulsive crime, this is a complete lack of empathy crime.” 

Jones was sentenced to two years and two months in prison. 

When he is released he will be disqualified from driving for five years.