Swindon AdvertiserTeen gang admits violent Halloween robberies (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Teen gang admits violent Halloween robberies

A gang of teenagers have pleaded guilty to carrying out a string of violent Halloween robberies.

But the five boys and one girl may still face a trial over the facts of the incident as they all claim they were just ‘joining in’ with the others.

The teenagers, aged from 14 to 17, all admitted robbing four youths when they appeared before a judge at Swindon Crown Court.

But they entered their pleas on certain bases which prosecutors must now consider, to see if they accept them before sentence can be passed.

Colin Meeke, for the Crown, said: “There are none active: they are all back seat passengers.”

He said: “It is a joint enterprise so they are jointly and separately responsible for their actions.”

If prosecutors do not accept the bases of plea then a trial of issue may be held where a judge sitting alone will hear evidence and rule on the facts.

The victims, aged from 14 to 16, were robbed of a bag and its contents, a bag and clothing, a mobile phone and a baseball cap.

It is alleged the 16-year-old girl brandished a knife or screwdriver during the attack on October 31 and is also said to have kicked two of the victims. The boys, one 14, three aged 16 and one 17, are said to have been armed with dog chains, and a metal pole. None of the defendants can be named for legal reasons.

The attack took place as the victims were walking along a secluded footpath close to Ridgeway School after leaving a Halloween party in Wroughton. At an earlier hearing, magistrates were told it appeared the girl was the ringleader in a pre-planned robbery where the gang wore balaclavas, hats and hoods. Judge Douglas Field adjourned the case to Friday, January 11 to give the prosecution time to decide whether there needs to be a trial.

He released the six defendants, who are from the Parks, Pinehurst and Walcot, on conditional bail.

They are to live at their home addresses, observe night time curfews, not contact each other and stay out of Wroughton and Wichelstowe.

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