Knifepoint robber was high on drugs

This Is Wiltshire: . .

A TEENAGER who was ‘too high to care’ when he robbed two other boys at knifepoint in play parks has been jailed for three years.

The 17-year-old was on bail for the first incident when he launched the second robbery earlier this year.

And in between he had also assaulted the victim of his first robbery after he and an accomplice saw him in another recreation area.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the first offence took place in a play park off Angus Close in Shaw Ridge on Saturday, August 24 last year.

He said the 16-year-old victims knew their attackers, having given them cigarettes in the past, and were having a smoke when the defendant and another lad joined them.

“The two of them asked for cigarettes and a roll up was handed over.” Mr Meeke told the court.

“A few moments later a bag containing a big knife was produced and held to one of their faces. It was held up to the face within the bag.

“The defendant’s accomplice said ‘I am going to shank you, you have baccy’.”

While one of the victims walked off to take a phone call the defendant held the first boy’s neck while his partner in crime took his mobile phone.

They asked him what else he had and, when they found nothing, took his push scooter which was later found thrown into a bush.

When the lad who had been on the phone returned he was also threatened and relieved of his mobile.

Two days later the second victim was spotted in another park and while the other robber shouted at him for getting the police involved, the defendant kicked him.

He was freed on bail and on Wednesday, February 19 this year he was in a group of youths who approached a 17-year-old in Pond Street park shortly before 2pm.

“The opening gambit was ‘How are we going to do this, are we going to beat you or are you going to give it to us?’,” Mr Meeke said.

He demanded the lad hand over his mobile and asked one of his colleagues ‘Where's the knife’, and the weapon was produced.

Mr Meeke said the teenager was caught after he tried to sell the phone to a second hand shop.

The boy admitted three robberies, having a bladed article and common assault.

Tony Bignall, defending, said “The best that can be said about the offending is that it was impulsive.”

He said he played the lesser role in the first offence but accepted he was ‘10 out of 10’' responsible for the second one.

Since being remanded in custody after the second set of offences he said his client had taken responsibility for what he had done and was full of remorse.

Passing sentence Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “There was no significant pre-planning as far as I can see.

“But you took the view that you were ready to rob people at knifepoint if necessary, and you were prepared to do that if you wanted money.

“You were under the influence of drugs. You made a comment to the probation officer that you were ‘too high to care’.

“I do regard these offences as so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”

The other robber in the August matters was sentenced by the youth court last year.

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