School Boys Robbed

TWO schoolboys were robbed of their mobile phones as they stood outside their school at lunchtime. Nathan Baker, 18, confronted the two 14-year-olds and accused them of sending text messages to his sister, said court prosecutor Ruth Field. The boys showed

TWO schoolboys were robbed of their mobile phones as they stood outside their school at lunchtime.

Nathan Baker, 18, confronted the two 14-year-olds and accused them of sending text messages to his sister, said court prosecutor Ruth Field.

The boys showed him their phones to prove they hadn't got her number in their address books, but he snatched the phones and refused to return them.

He pushed one against a fence and threatened to beat them up before leaving the area outside Thomas Alleyne School, Stevenage. He was arrested two days later.

Baker, of Lincoln Road, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to two charges of robbery and on Friday a judge told him he had escaped a custodial sentence "by a whisker".

Miss Field told Luton Crown Court that the offences were committed on June 28 last year. One of the phones was worth £200 had been a brand new birthday present. They were not recovered.

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Guy Ladenberg, defending, said: "He feels very bad about inflicting himself on them, intimidating them with his age and size. It has been eating away at him."

But he said since the offence he had been on supervision and had made considerable improvements to his life.

"To send him into custody now would be counter productive," said the barrister.

Judge Geoffrey Breen told Baker: "This was an unpleasant offence towards two 14-year-old boys in broad daylight, but I am impressed at the considerable progress you have made.

"You have escaped immediate custody by a whisker."

He was given a 12-month sentence of detention suspended for 12 months with supervision and 80 hours unpaid work. He must also pay £320 compensation.

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