Preston tearaway teen commits his sixth robbery but cannot be identified in the press after 'making progress'

A 16-year-old criminal with a history of robbing children threatened to stab a youngster before snatching his bike.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 12:30 pm

The Post was unsuccessful in a legal battle to expose the young robber's identity - despite it being the sixth robbery he had committed - as the court was told he had been "making progress" since the offence.

The tearaway teen, from Ashton-on-Ribble, robbed a 15-year-old boy of his £600 bike at a bus stop in the city on July 12, 2019.

Joshua Bowker, prosecuting, said the victim had been out with his girlfriend and another friend and had walked them to the bus stop at 8.30pm so they could go home.

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Crown Court

He added: "As they were waiting two males approached and engaged them in conversation about cigarettes, before they asked their names and 'who they chilled with'.

"When the complainant asked them the same, one of them replied: 'Do you not know who we are, we are the ones asking the questions."

The defendant then said: "Do you want to get stabbed?" while his accomplice said: "No let me do it I haven't done it for a while."

The men began to walk away but then snatched his bike and a tug of war broke out, before the victim was punched in the stomach.

As the pair fled the scene one said: " If anyone finds out about this something will happen."

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The court heard in a victim impact statement, the boy said he was "nervous" about going out and worried what would happen if he saw them again.

In a separate incident on August 18, 2019, the defendant admitted resisting a PC after trying to flee a property in Preston during an investigation.

He bit an officer's thumb and had to be subdued by Pava spray.

And on July 22, 2020, he walked into his mother's home and threatened her before smashing her TV.

He pleaded guilty to robbery, criminal damage, possession of cannabis, and resisting arrest.

The court heard he has nine convictions for 14 offences - five of them robberies including other children.

But his defence solicitor and others involved in his welfare said he had made progress in the 18 months since the offences and had the potential to live a "productive, pro social life."

Imposing a 12 month youth rehabilitation order with supervision, a 91 day activity requirement and three month curfew, Recorder Michael Maher said: "You have a dreadful record for somebody who is so young.

"When I looked at these papers I wrote down a 12 month detention and training order because I have a duty to the public in Preston, and if the public in Preston during 2019 had the misfortune to meet you and were under 18 they would have their bike wallet or tobacco stolen.

"These courts bend over backwards for youths because we know the writing isn't on the wall, we know you can change.

"It's in your hands. I'm sorry that your experience with your mother was so poor for you, but it doesn't define who you are and it's quite clear to me listening to the professionals that there is a very different side to you."

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