Two jailed for train robbery - Bedford

30/03/2012

A passenger on a late night train was robbed of his I-Pad by two 'thugs', a court heard on Friday, 30 March 2012.

The victim was punched in the face as he was browsing a social network site, said Beverley Cripps, for the Crown Prosecution Service.

The device, worth £520 was snatched from him and the £140 ear-phones were detached from it and thrown at him, causing them to break.

Judge Ronald Moss said: "Anyone would be out of their mind to take on two thugs on a train late at night."

He told 24-year-old Ashley Brewer, and 18-year-old Jamie McCartney: "You knew right from wrong and must face the punishment. This is too serious to be dealt with by anything other than an immediate custodial sentence."

Brewer, of Ickley Close, Luton, and McCartney of Dallow Road, Luton both pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery.

Brewer, who was on licence at the time of the incident from a previous sentence for robbery was jailed for three-years. McCartney was sent to a young offenders institute for two-years.

Miss Cripps told Luton Crown Court that Richard Skilbeck had boarded the train at Bedford heading for St. Albans in the early hours of 11 October last year. There were a number of people in the carriage including the defendants.

"He was using his I-Pad when he felt someone reach over and try to take it, but he held on to it. Then he was punched in the face and let go because he feared further violence.

"When the defendants got off the train he followed them, using his phone to give police a description of them."

The prosecutor said they were arrested but the I-Pad was never recovered.

Jane Anderson for Brewer said: "He is an articulate young man who expresses his remorse in a letter.

"When he was last released from prison he was sure he would be able to put his offending behind him with the help of probation, but he was in a hostel, could not get work and reverted to type." She said he had been at liberty for seven-months before re-offending.

Stephen Garratt, defending McCartney said he was immature. "He was homeless at the time and needed food," said the solicitor.

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