Youth involved in knifepoint robbery of 12-year-old warned he could become an "old lag"

PUBLISHED: 12:10 17 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:52 17 August 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A 16-year-old teenager involved in a knifepoint street robbery of a 12-year-old boy in Great Yarmouth was given a stark warning by a judge, who told him he could turn his back on crime or face becoming "an old lag."

The youth, from London, was involved with two others in the street robbery on the victim as he was walking along an alleyway to his grandmother’s home in the town, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Andrew Oliver, prosecuting, said the youth, who was 15 at the time, and two others approached the victim and after distracting him, produced a knife and robbed him of his phone and £10.

Mr Oliver said: “He was extremely concerned for his safety.”

He said the victim was threatened not to contact police but managed to find his way to a nearby home and the robbery was quickly reported to police.

Mr Oliver said the youth was detained and a knife recovered and at first he provided false details to police until his true identity was eventually established.

In an impact statement, the victim said the robbery had made him now feel unsafe about going out on his own and could not get the robbery out of his mind, despite just wanting to try to forget about it.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared via a video link from Feltham Young Offenders Institution, admitted robbery and carrying a knife in Great Yarmouth on March 16, this year.

The court heard the youth had a number of previous convictions including one for robbery in London.

Judge Anthony Bate sentenced the youth to three years detention and told him: “Either you start to show some responsibility and step-up or just go further and further into crime and become an old lag.”

He also ordered the destruction of the knife seized by police.

Lori Tucker, for the youth, said he had been in the company of older people when he carried out the robbery.

She said he had an unhappy past but was putting his time while on remand to good use and had taken up courses to focus on his education.

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