Knife robber gets jail term
A KNIFE-wielding mugger who targeted schoolchildren was locked up for two and a half years last week. The 16-year-old donned a balaclava to take part in at least two attacks in Chadwell Heath. Joined by a 17-year-old associate and three other unidentified
A KNIFE-wielding mugger who targeted schoolchildren was locked up for two and a half years last week.
The 16-year-old donned a balaclava to take part in at least two attacks in Chadwell Heath.
Joined by a 17-year-old associate and three other unidentified louts he robbed a 16-year-old schoolboy in Grove Road, Chadwell Heath, on February 20.
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard the 16-year-old has convictions for robbing a 12-year-old boy of his bike and a 16-year-old boy of his mobile phone and Oyster card last year.
On Wednesday, June 3 the judge, Mr Recorder John Cavanagh QC, sentenced him to two and a half years in a young offenders' institution for the Grove Road mugging.
But the thug is likely to be freed late next year under an early release scheme and after spending time on remand.
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The judge described the attack on the 16-year-old in February as "nasty and unpleasant".
"You approached the victim, running towards him as part of a group with four other boys," said Recorder Cavanagh.
"It was in the evening and it was dark," the judge added.
The court heard how the 16-year-old yob screamed: "What have you got for me?"
"Someone searched the victim's pockets while you raised a knife from your waistband," said the judge.
The 16-year-old chillingly warned his victim: "Don't make me put a tool in you."
"You were, it seems to me, either the ring leader or one of two ring leaders," the judge told the teenager.
"It was frankly a cowardly attack," added the judge.
The "terrified" victim, who cannot be named, was menaced for just �5, the court heard.
Prosecutor Leslie Chinweze earlier described the 16-year-old's two convictions for robbery last year.
"The victim was approached in the park by the defendant and a group of males," said the barrister.
"That victim had his mobile phone and Oyster card taken from him."
The 16-year-old also struck in a park when he preyed on a 12-year-old cyclist.
"He slapped his face and took the bike," said Mr Chinweze.
The bully also had a previous conviction for actual bodily harm, said the prosecutor.
Kim Chiswick, defending, said he won a Jack Petchey award - handed out to youngsters in east London and Essex - for recognition of his work with a youth club.
"He received a medal in May 2006," said the barrister.
But she claimed the former Redbridge College student went off the rails after the death of his uncle.
The 16-year-old, from Seven Kings, admitted robbery and having an offensive weapon.