A VIOLENT mugger who produced a ‘wicked looking knife’ after stalking his teenage victim through town has been jailed for four years and 36 weeks.
Michael Price dragged the 16-year-old to the ground and kicked him before producing a large knife and threatening the lad with it.
Although the 22-year-old denied he was armed with the weapon, a judge rejected his version of events after hearing the victim giving evidence.
The teenager told a trial of issue at Swindon Crown Court he was out on the night of Tuesday, November 19 when he was followed and mugged.
He had seen three people looking at him at the bottom of town as he made his way home from an event at The Oasis.
“They were just staring at me and their body language made me feel uncomfortable,” he told the court.
They then followed him as he walked up to the fountain along Canal Walk, up to Curtis Street, before he was jumped by Price on Cambria Bridge Road.
He said: “As I got to the middle of the road my coat was pulled from behind me over my head and I was punched in the face with a left hand, which made contact with my right cheek.”
While he was on the ground he said he was kicked a number of times, including once to the face, and handed over his bag when he was told to.
He said when he got up the man in the red hoodie, who was Price, pulled the knife from his waistband and pointed it at him, demanding his mobile.
The boy said he didn’t have a phone, before managing to get free and run away from the trio.
Price, who was living rough at the time, told the court he had kicked the victim, despite denying it in his basis of plea, but insisted there was no knife.
He said he had not meant to rob the man, just speak to him because his friend Luke Cooper said the victim had been bullying him.
He said the other two lads took the bag and he was given the victim’s bank card, which was later found on him, because he thought he could pay off some debts.
Price, of The Circle, Pinehurst, admitted robbery.
Martin Wiggins, defending, said his client had a difficult upbringing and had a lack of personal skills.
Jailing him, Judge Douglas Field said: “You are now aged 22 and despite your young age you are pretty heavily convicted. You have previous convictions for serious offences of dishonesty and violence.
“You pleaded guilty to this offence of robbery but you put in a basis of plea which I found, on the evidence, to be unsustainable.
“Your victim was alone and vulnerable in the town at night. You produced this wicked looking black knife and held it with your outstretched arm very near to his face. This is a serious case of street robbery.”
Cooper, of Redcap Gardens, Ramleaze, and the 17-year-old, of Freshbrook, had the charges against them dropped at an earlier hearing after they pleaded not guilty.