Teenager sentenced to 12-months detention - Bedford

31/10/2012

A Bedford teenager was sentenced to 12-months detention after threatening a group of younger boys with a knife and robbing one of his mobile.

The 16-year-old confronted the five boys, who come from Sandy, at the skate park in Jubilee Park in Bedford during the summer holidays.

He told them he did not want to see them down his end of the town and warned them they could get stabbed, Bedford Youth Court heard on 31 October 2012.

Camille Giffard, prosecuting, said the first victim had been to the shop to get some food and was going back into the skate park ahead of his friends when the 16-year-old came up on his bike and asked him what  he had on him.

The 14-year-old said he had nothing, but the older boy produced a knife, with a four to five inch blade, and said: "If you are lying I will kill you." He then handed over his Blackberry.

The victim's friends caught up and a second boy handed over his phone to the robber, but it was returned after he was told it had sentimental value.

When the first boy asked for his phone back he was told to "jog on."

Ms Giffard said the robber told the Sandy boys: "I don't want to see you again in Bedford. What are you doing down my end? You could get stabbed."

Police later recovered the Blackberry from the robber's home.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to robbery, attempted robbery, and possessing a knife at 3pm on 03 August this year. He had no previous convictions, but had been reprimanded for causing actual bodily harm in 2009 and for battery in 2011.

The college student, who is studying business, told the magistrates' he had found the knife and was "sorry" for what happened.

James Killen, defending, said the boy had only just turned 16 at the time of the robbery. The offences were unplanned and the weapon had not been used.

One of the phones had been returned voluntarily. "He asked the victim if the phone was of any value to him. When he said it was of sentimental value it was returned to him," he said.

Mr Killen went on to say the boy's mother had been suffering from ill health and his family was under stress at the time.

Sentencing him, magistrate Mrs Judith Hagger said: "This was a particularly nasty situation which you created.

"A weapon was produced and it was used to threaten. You made verbal threats and, by your own admissions, you accepted the victims were vulnerable."

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