Robber threatened to shoot boy
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