A man has been locked up for six years after violently attacking a teenage boy and a man in his 60s in a shocking spree of attempted robberies in Haslemere in February.

Ethan Brown, 21, randomly targeted victims on February 21, committing two attempted robberies within an hour of each other.

Brown followed a teenage schoolboy and his sister along Wey Hill at about 6pm. He shouted at them and when he caught up to them, grabbed the boy’s tie and pinned him to a glass shopfront. He threatened to kill the boy, demanding money with a raised fist held up to his face. He only let him go after a member of the public repeatedly shouted that the police had been called.

Less than an hour later, Brown set his sights on a man in his 60s walking home from the shops. Brown claimed to know him and persistently harassed him as he walked home. Brown violently wrestled the man to the ground, punching and strangling him while demanding money.

The victim’s desperate calls for help led to a passerby calling police. Officers arrived to find Brown still sat pinning the victim to the ground. He was swiftly arrested for both offences and charged with two counts of attempted robbery.

Brown (29/01/2003) of Northchapel, West Sussex, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison for attempted robbery at Guildford Crown Court on June 6.

Investigating officer PC Connor Gillard said: “Brown targeted random members of the public who were going about their lives and subjected them to entirely unprovoked aggression and fear. I hope that the outcome of this case will reassure residents that we take these offences seriously, and they will feel safer knowing that Brown is off the streets for a long time.”