Disabled OAP was beaten by thug.
David Gibbon, 28, from Stockton, was jailed for four and a half years after the judge said he was a danger to the public.
Gibbon has never worked and has already served a four-year sentence for causing GBH with intent. He had 25 convictions for 59 offences and had been recalled to prison twice.
He will serve two-thirds of his latest sentence instead of the usual half and will be on licence for five years on his release, Teesside Crown Court was told.
The pensioner was rescued by Beverley Fowler who was woken at 5.50am on June 29 in the Kingsley Avenue area of Hartlepool by banging.
She looked out, heard moaning and saw Gibbon - who said later that he had been to a party - viciously kicking a man and apparently full of rage.
Prosecutor Jenny Haig said: "Each kick appeared to connect with the back of the man's head, and he was curled up in a foetal position. She banged on her window to make the man stop, which he did."
The judge said that she was a very brave young woman because she went out in her dressing gown and had the foresight to take a picture of Gibbon with her mobile phone.
Then she rang for an ambulance and the police, and stayed with the distressed pensioner, holding his hand until they arrived.
Miss Haig added: "She said she felt physically sick at the level of violence on a man who was not hitting back. The man told police 'I thought my head was going to be kicked off', I was frightened he was going to finish me off '."
The 72-year-old had been going to post a christening card with a PS5 note from himself and his wife when Gibbon staggered along the street, swigging from a bottle of wine he had stolen from a shop, and then asked him for the time. As the OAP glanced down at his watch, Gibbon punched him on the head, then punched him again, knocking his head on the pavement.
He searched the old man's pockets for money and he stole the card. Gibbon was aggressive and without remorse when the police interviewed him. He said: "Well, excuse me for beating an old man up."
Paul Cleasby, defending, said Gibbon wanted to seek help to tackle his violent behaviour. His only mitigation was that he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
The judge, Recorder Paul Camp, told Gibbon: "Fortunately for you, a brave young woman, Beverley Fowler, rushed out in her dressing gown and intervened.
"She describes a vicious attack.
When the police arrived on the scene, this young woman was still holding the victim's hand."
Gibbon, of Portrack Lane, who pleaded guilty, was jailed for four years for robbery and six months consecutively for theft of the wine.
David Gibbon was branded a danger to the public and jailed for four and a half years