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Mugger threatened to stab woman and her baby
8:40am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
A KNIFE-wielding robber threatened to stab a woman and her baby after confronting her on a footpath, a court was told.
Shane Bishop was holding the large knife as he and a group of pals surrounded the woman, who didn’t have her child with her, near the graffiti wall on Canal Walk.
The 21-year-old hoodie-wearing thug went through her pockets and tried to steal her mobile phone during the terrifying ordeal in broad daylight.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that Stephanie Byers had gone out to meet a friend on Friday May 17.
As she got to the path on the old canal between Westcott Place and Albion Street she saw Bishop, who she knew, with a group of other youths.
“He came towards her saying he was going to stab her. She could see in his left hand the blade of a knife,” Miss Hingston said.
“The defendant said he was going to stab her and stab her baby. The others moved around her and he brought the knife up.
“She looked at his eyes. He was wearing a hoodie pulled up over his face, and she felt his hand go in her pocket for her phone but she clamped it tightly shut.”
Bishop then got angry with her and swung a punch, which missed when she ducked, and she saw the friend she was meeting and ran to him.
The court was told a passer by heard her screaming: ‘They’re trying to stab me. I can’t run to my house because of my baby’.
When Bishop was arrested he said there had been a history of bad blood between him and the victim’s partner, whom he said had been giving him problems for some time.
On the day of the incident he said he and some friends had agreed to buy ‘some weed’ from the man.
When his girlfriend turned up he assumed she would have drugs on her and he decided to steal them from her.
He accepted he had the knife to frighten her and put his hand in her pocket, but he denied throwing a punch.
Bishop, of Bentley Close, Park North, admitted attempted robbery and having an offensive weapon.
The court heard he had 59 previous convictions including a number of robberies, burglary and driving matters.
Alex Daymond, defending, said his client was realistic about receiving a custodial sentence.
“He is someone who has offended since a fairly early age and it perhaps speaks to a fairly unsettled childhood,” he said.
Although it was a pre-planned robbery he said he had not intended to target the victim and certainly did not use the knife to cause physical harm.
Jailing him for three years and nine months, Recorder Peter Blair QC said: “That afternoon in Canal Walk you approached her with a knife and threatened her.
“That threat was one you made not only to herself but also to her young child who thankfully was not with her.
“You put the fear of God into her that afternoon.”