A ROBBER pulled his victim’s trousers down, exposing his bare backside, after attacking him in the town centre.

Tsvetan Mikov, from Orford, pinched a mobile phone during the vicious attack at a taxi rank minutes before he stole a Good Samaritan’s handbag.

And the 36-year-old was jailed this week after admitting robbery.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the 37-year-old victim was stood at the taxi stand outside Central Station at around 2am on Saturday, November 2 2019, after a night out with co-workers.

CCTV footage played to the court showed a man wearing a grey hoodie and a black bodywarmer approaching him from the direction of Crown Street before repeatedly punching him in the face.

After falling to the floor, his attacker grabbed him in a headlock and attempted to pull his phone from the front right pocket of his jeans.

Mikov, of Orford Lane, then lifted his victim up by his legs and began to pull at his trousers, ripping them off and leaving the victim with his buttocks fully exposed.

The robber, who used ‘significant force’ in the attack, walked away with the phone after being confronted by a member of the public.

Around 20 minutes later, a 45-year-old woman was helping another person into a taxi in the same area – placing her handbag on a wall while doing so.

Mikov then swiped the bag and its contents, which included the victim’s purse, bank cards, keys and mobile phone plus £30 in cash.

This phone contained priceless pictures of her dad, who had died 18 months previously.

She has been unable to recover these photographs since, with the court hearing how the woman was left ‘stunned to think that someone took her belongings while she was helping somebody’.

The defendant – who appeared in court via video link to HMP Liverpool – has previous convictions in his home country of Bulgaria, including four counts of theft dating back to 2002 and a ‘serious’ robbery for which he was imprisoned for six-and-a-half years in 2014.

He had only been living in the UK for a matter of months before committing his latest crimes.

Mikov, who pleaded guilty to robbery and theft during an earlier court hearing, was handed three years and four months behind bars on Friday, January 3.

Sentencing, judge Anil Murray said: “The robbery victim has little recollection of what happened, but the CCTV footage shows how determined you were to commit this offence.

“It shows you punched him to the ground and struggled with him to get his telephone out of his pocket.

“To do that, you pulled at his trousers – which came down, exposing his bottom and adding to his indignity.

“At one stage you had your hand around his throat, and he has suffered serious anxiety and distress since.

“Not long after the robbery, your second victim put her handbag on a wall while helping someone and you stole it.

“Your crime has had a serious impact on her – items of sentimental value were stolen, including photos of her late father which are now lost to her.

“She was left shocked, distressed, stunned and upset.

“An inevitable custodial sentence must follow.”

Mikov, who was assisted in court by an interpreter, will serve up to half of his jail sentence before being released on licence – if he is allowed to remain in the country.

He was also told to pay a victim surcharge.