A Yellowknife man who pushed a woman to the ground as he was fleeing a grocery store he tried to rob has been convicted of aggravated assault, theft and breach of probation.

Jacob Griep, 28, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison. He will likely be spared from having to serve his time in a federal prison because of credit for the six months he was in jail awaiting trial for the incident. 

Griep sat in the prisoner's box with his eyes shut during most of the sentencing Wednesday morning.

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Jacob Griep was sentenced to two years and nine months for aggravated assault, theft and breach of probation, after pushing a 63-year-old woman to the ground while running from a store. (CBC)

His lawyer had asked if Griep could sit beside him at the defence table, but an RCMP officer said he had been told there were concerns Griep could be dangerous.

The woman he pushed to the ground as he was fleeing the downtown Extra Foods — 63-year-old Mary Cleary — suffered a broken eye socket, broken wrist and a cracked rib in the incident.

During the sentencing, the judge cited the severity of Cleary's injuries, as well as Griep's long criminal record. He has more than 55 previous convictions, but only one for assault.

After the sentencing, Cleary said she felt sorry for Griep, a self-confessed alcoholic who said he was drunk at the time he assaulted Cleary. However, Cleary said she feels much safer knowing he will be off the streets for some time.