A PAIR will be sentenced for a robbery spree that took place in Swindon almost 18 months ago.

Appearing before Swindon Crown Court on Friday, Ewin Francis and Joshua Orchard pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, an attempted robbery and fraud by false representation.

But the two men denied robbing Swindon Link editor Jamie Hill. The journalist claimed he had been hit over the head with a homemade cosh and stripped of his wallet as he walked home from a night out in Old Town.

Swindon Advertiser:

Jamie Hill shortly after the robbery in 2018

All the charges relate to a single night: June 3, 2018.

Francis, 20, of Priory Road, and Orchard, 20, of Hillingdon Road, are said to have been part of a group that targeted men in Old Town, Gorse Hill, on Dorcan Way and later on Queens Drive.

Swindon Advertiser:

Ewin Francis outside Swindon Crown Court

They were said to have taken from one man a bag containing a phone charger, jumper and Tommy Hilfiger wallet. The second was allegedly robbed of his cigarettes, phone and wallet. A third was stripped of his phone. The men used a bank card belonging to one of their victims to buy goods from a Premier corner shop.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said the pleas were acceptable to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Both men were bailed to be sentenced on February 20 at the crown court. Judge Jason Taylor QC said: “You have pleaded guilty to serious offences and you should both expect a custodial sentence.”