Hartlepool thug jailed for five years for terrifying knifepoint robbery of young student

A teenager has been jailed for five years following a terrifying knifepoint robbery on a young student in Hartlepool.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 1:30 pm
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 2:23 pm
Jacob Mercer, 19, who had previously been found guilty of the robbery at knifepoint, was handed the sentence at Teesside Crown Court.

Jacob Mercer, 19, who had previously been found guilty of the robbery at knifepoint, was handed the sentence at Teesside Crown Court.

Mercer, of Elwick Road, had carried out the attack in the early hours of the morning of Monday, May 6, last year after the victim, Louis Wood, gave him and his girlfriend a lift from the town to the Tesco Express on Wiltshire Way, Throston.

Mercer pleaded guilty to robbery, taking a £5 note and a £800 designer jacket, but denied having a knife, however, he was found guilty at trial.

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Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said Mr Wood, 19, called Mercer and his girlfriend over in the town centre because he thought he knew him and despite realising he was mistaken, still offered to give them a lift home.

The defendant asked him to wait while he went to get him some money for the lift and when he returned, he punched Mr Wood in the head and threatened him with the knife.

She said: “He was waving the knife and demanding that Mr Wood give him the £5 note that was in the car next to the handbrake and threatened to stab him.”

Mr Wood managed to climb over into the passenger side of his Vauxhall Corse and run off.

Ms Haigh said: “He was very distressed. He had to be assisted by passers-by to ring 999.”

The victim managed to identify Mercer through Facebook and then picked him out during an ID parade.

Ms Haigh said Mr Wood felt in fear for his life throughout the incident.

Stephen Constantine, defending, said it is 18 months since the incident and Mercer, who has a mental health condition, has been taking steps to prevent any re-occurrence.

He said: “This has, to an extent, been a wake-up call.

“At the forefront of his mitigation is that he is still only 19 years of age.

“Clearly this is going to be his first taste of custody and it is going to be a significant term.”