York gang behaved like pack of 'feral dogs'

First published in News by

A TEENAGE robber who was part of a gang that persistently targeted victims in York like “a pack of feral dogs” has been locked up for 18 months.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, escaped prison when he first appeared before a judge in April.

But he was hauled back to York Crown Court because he failed to comply with his 18-month youth rehabilitation order.

Prosecutor Aisha Wadoodi told the hearing that the boy was one of two teenagers who had admit - ted two offences of robbery in the Fulford Road area in the early hours of July 8 last year.

She said the first victim was a 22-year-old homeless man who heard two men with their faces obscured with scarves or hoods shouting: “Give us your money or we will knife you.”

He ran off but was cornered by the pair who acted as if they had knives. They grabbed the victim’s rucksack “that contained all his worldly possessions” and he ran off, she added.

The second victim, a man aged 23, was attacked in Alma Terrace while carrying a pint glass in a box which had been a gift from City Screen. He was punched in the face and knocked to the ground.

Despite avoiding custody, the teenager had failed to keep appointments required by the order or obey his curfew, the court heard.

Steven Crossley, defending, said his client was “very upset and tearful” about what had happened and was desperate for the order to continue.

But Judge Stephen Ashurst revoked the original sentence and ordered that the teenager be detained for 18 months.

He told the sobbing teenager: “You must, I’m afraid, learn from this experience. When the courts give people a chance and people do not take that chance there are consequences.”

He also underlined the original robbery offences had a number of aggravating features. “This kind of offence generates a lot of fear,”

the judge added. “People are entitled to walk home in this city without being attacked.”

Passing sentence at the April hearing, Recorder Richard Wright, said: “Like a feral pack of dogs, you and others were roaming the streets looking for victims to rob.”

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