RAMAPAGING TEEN STAYS LOCKED UP
THE ringleader of a teenage gang who went on a rampage in Gerrards Cross and High Wycombe has been told by top judges he cannot complain about his sentence.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be named, was locked up for two years and eight months at Aylesbury Crown Court in July, after admitting two robberies, assault by beating and possessing a knife.
The boy, from High Wycombe, on Wednesay last week challenged his sentence at the Court of Appeal in London, with his lawyers arguing it was “too long” for someone of his age.
But his complaints were dismissed by three of the country’s most senior judges, who said his crimes were so serious that the sentence was justified.
The court heard the boy and nine others teenagers – most with their faces covered by ski masks – surrounded a 14-year-old boy on East Common, Gerrards Cross, on December 30 last year.
The victim was knocked to the ground where he was punched, kicked and stamped on in an attack which was filmed by gang members and shared on social media.
He had his mobile phone taken from him after being threatened with a knife by the gang leader – aged just 13 at the time – who later sold the phone.
The gang, in “high spirits” after the attack, then travelled to High Wycombe by train.
They went into the Eden shopping centre, where they stole a watch from a 14-year-old boy after trying to take his backpack – which was again sold by the gang leader.
They also knocked a woman to the ground and assaulted an 18-year-old man.
The boy was said to have led the violence, as he took the knife to the common, used it to threaten the victim and sold on the stolen items.
His lawyers argued his sentence was far too tough, saying the crown court judge didn’t take enough account of how young and immature he was at the time.
But, rejecting his appeal, Mr Justice Langstaff said the judge did have regard to the boy’s youth and the sentence was not excessive.
Sitting with Lady Justice Hallett and Mr Justice King, he added: “Far from showing remorse, he celebrated what he had done in the video, and a ‘mood of triumphalism’, as the judge rightly called it, infected what happened next at the shopping centre.
“We do not think that the sentence for robbery could be said to be excessive, even for one so young.”