Rob­ber threat­ened to shoot boy

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Man Admits Role In Drive-by Shooting - BY OLIVER CLAY [email protected]­i­tymir­ror.com @Oliv­erClayRWWN

ATEENAGER who bran­dished a fake firearm in a boy’s face and threat­ened to ‘put a hole in his head’ in Run­corn – just two months af­ter tak­ing part in a knife­point rob­bery – has been handed an in­ten­sive su­per­vi­sion or­der with tag and cur­few.

The youth, now 17 and who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, ap­peared at Cheshire Youth Court in War­ring­ton last Wed­nes­day, as the Weekly News was go­ing to press, to be sen­tenced for six of­fences in to­tal.

Amie Poole, pros­e­cut­ing, said the spree be­gan at around 6pm on June 13 at the Co-op store in Wind­mill Hill, where shop staff had re­fused the de­fen­dant an en­ergy drink af­ter ask­ing for ID.

On the way out, the delin­quent kicked and cracked a glass door panel, with the episode be­ing caught on CCTV.

Af­ter leav­ing, he and three oth­ers chased a group of 13-14-year-old boys who had been to the same shop.

A 14-year-old at the back of the group was cy­cling through an un­der­pass when he was pulled from his bike, and although still stand­ing found him­self sur­rounded by four youths.

One of them pushed him, grabbed his Car­rera Hell­cat moun­tain bike worth £380 and rode off.

An­other boy felt some­one try to push him off his bike but he re­sisted de­spite spot­ting a knife in his as­sailant’s hand.

He had seen his friend be­ing pushed off the Car­rera Hell­cat and de­scribed the cul­prit, which led po­lice to iden­tify the de­fen­dant, then 16 years old, and ar­rest him the next day.

Af­ter giv­ing no com­ment an­swers in in­ter­view, he later ad­mit­ted crim­i­nal dam­age over the shop win­dow and rob­bery.

While on bail, the teenager struck again, this time ap­proach­ing a male in Castle­fields on Au­gust 17.

The vic­tim was walk­ing with a friend and said he was ap­proached by two youths who had cov­ered their faces and ‘ looked like trou­ble’. ●

One of them lifted his top to re­veal the han­dle of what ap­peared to be a hand­gun in his waist­band and said ‘empty your pock­ets’.

The teen rob­ber pointed the pis­tol at the vic­tim’s face and threat­ened to ‘put a hole in it’.

Sus­pect­ing it to be a BB gun be­cause of its sound, the vic­tim tried to walk away, while the sec­ond rob­ber tried to kick him then re­strain him.

The one with the im­i­ta­tion firearm then punched him sev­eral times and pis­tol whipped him.

Some girls who wit­nessed the in­ci­dent said the de­fen­dant then ges­tured with the gun and said ‘you’re all dead’.

Cheshire po­lice re­ported at the time that the at­tempted rob­bery hap­pened on Mari­copa Close and at Phoenix Park.

CCTV played to the court showed two fig­ures clad in dark clothes pur­su­ing some­one down a street mak­ing rasp­ing, threat­en­ing noises, while one of them waved a pis­tol around.

The de­fen­dant was ar­rested and gave no com­ment an­swers in in­ter­view but was con­victed at trial of pos­sess­ing an im­i­ta­tion firearm with in­tent to cause fear of vi­o­lence, at­tempt rob­bery, as­sault by beat­ing, and us­ing threat­en­ing words to cause fear of vi­o­lence.

The court heard he had five con­vic­tions for seven of­fences dat­ing back to 2017: crim­i­nal dam­age, racially ag­gra­vated dis­or­der, threat­en­ing or abu­sive be­hav­iour, ha­rass­ment and bat­tery, and again threat­en­ing or abu­sive be­hav­iour.

The court’s le­gal ad­vi­sor said he would have been fac­ing a start­ing point of five years in prison for rob­bery had he been an adult.

Ian Waites, de­fend­ing, said his client was not the boy who had the knife in the first in­ci­dent, and said he had en­gaged with the de­mands of in­ten­sive su­per­vi­sion since his ar­rest for the sec­ond set of of­fences.

He added that the de­fen­dant suf­fered from at­ten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der and anger prob­lems and his med­i­ca­tion had been changed and may have af­fected his be­hav­iour.

Mr Waites also re­ferred to a ‘dif­fi­cult’ home life that in­volved tak­ing on adult re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

He said the vic­tim in the sec­ond case had not wanted to at­tend the trial and was now in prison over a sep­a­rate mat­ter.

A mem­ber of the youth ser­vice also spoke in court to tell mag­is­trates that the teenager had ‘worked re­ally hard’ to mend his ways, at­tend­ing child and ado­les­cent men­tal health ser­vices, vic­tim aware­ness ses­sions and ac­tiv­ity ses­sions as well as sign­ing on at the po­lice sta­tion.

The boy’s mother told the court there had been a ‘big im­prove­ment’ in his be­hav­iour since he was placed un­der in­ten­sive su­per­vi­sion and sur­veil­lance, and her tears flowed as she fin­ished speak­ing.

Af­ter be­ing ad­dressed by mag­is­trates, the teenager told the court ‘ I’m ready to change’ and said he does not run with the same crowd any more.

The mag­is­trates panel chaired by Mary Rad­cliffe along­side Jef­frey Dodd and John Mon­aghan opted against cus­tody in the form of a de­ten­tion and train­ing or­der and in­stead im­posed an 18-month in­ten­sive su­per­vi­sion sur­veil­lance or­der with a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion re­quire­ment.

This in­cludes a 7pm7am cur­few for six months and ac­tiv­ity re­quire­ment for 91 days.

In ad­di­tion he must pay £500 in com­pen­sa­tion, costs and sur­charge at a rate of £40 per month.

Re­strain­ing or­ders were im­posed in re­la­tion to the var­i­ous wit­nesses in the two cases.

Mrs Rad­cliffe said the or­der was the ‘best way to pro­tect the pub­lic’ and ‘pre­vent re­of­fend­ing’.

She said: “The list of of­fences were very un­pleas­ant and it was quite clear that it crosses the cus­tody thresh­old.

“How­ever, we have been per­suaded by what the youth of­fend­ing team had to say about your be­hav­iour more re­cently and what Mr Waites said about you and your fam­ily.”

Mari­copa Close, where the at­tempted rob­bery took place

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