A debt-ridden mainlander who crossed the border to rob women in vicious attacks was jailed yesterday for seven years and four months. Li Wenhui, 30, pleaded guilty in the Court of First Instance to two counts of robbery and one of wounding with intent. The court was told that he came to the city on a two-way permit solely to rob people to repay his 100,000 yuan (HK$121,700) debt. The court heard that on July 29 last year, Li grabbed Yuen Pik-fan's neck from behind on a Sham Shui Po street and struck her head repeatedly with a brick before making off with HK$1,600 and a cellphone. He then returned to the mainland. On September 15, Li struck again in Sham Shui Po. He robbed Liang Sali, who was walking alone at about 11.30pm, of HK$100, bank cards, a phone and a few accessories. He stabbed her in the stomach with a flick knife after she shouted for help. She needed emergency surgery. Both women have fully recovered. Police tracked down Li after he used one of the stolen phones. Defence lawyers said Li was desperate to repay the debt he had racked up over the medical expenses of his chronically ill parents. He had also been fined for breaking the one-child policy on the mainland. Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung said: 'Your behaviour was cold-blooded. Your financial difficulties were not a mitigating factor.' The judge said the crime was made more serious as Li had come to Hong Kong with a knife solely to commit crime. He said a heavy sentence was needed to reflect the serious consequences - acute brain damage could result by hitting the victim's head with a brick.