Teen robber dodges jail term

The Oxford Times: Judge Mary Jane Mowat Judge Mary Jane Mowat

A TEENAGER has avoided jail after he admitted stealing a mobile phone and punching a man to the ground during a robbery.

George Lester, of Whitehorns Way, Abingdon, pleaded guilty to carrying out the offence on November 15 last year in Drayton, near Abingdon.

Meryl Hughes, prosecuting, said the 19-year-old walked up to Michael Clark, who was on his way home after finishing work, and punched him to the ground.

She said he stole a Blackberry mobile phone, cigarettes, a wallet, £153 cash and left his victim with bruising to his face, as well as broken glasses.

Miss Hughes told Judge Mary Jane Mowat that Lester initially remained quiet while someone else was arrested and charged with the offence.

She also said he was convicted of two thefts in similar circumstances in June last year.

Janick Fielding, defending, said from the age of 15 when he dropped out of school his client had got in with “the wrong crowd” and started drinking and taking drugs.

But he added that in recent months Lester had started an apprenticeship to become a chef and was capable of “thriving” if given the chance to change.

Judge Mowat told the teenage defendant: “This robbery was a nasty and inexcusable offence, committed on someone who was pretty much defenceless in the early hours of the morning.

“And it is not the first time you have committed an offence such as this.”

She gave him a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 12 months of supervision, a managing alcohol-related aggression course, a restorative justice requirement, and told him to pay £500 compensation and a £100 victim surcharge.

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