Two masked raiders robbed paperboy in early-morning attack

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A paperboy was pushed to the ground by two masked men and robbed of his mobile phone.

William Harrison and Michael Dalkin jabbed their 16-year-old victim in the chest with a screwdriver before running away, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor David Crook told the court the pair were ‘up to no good’ in the early morning around Owton Manor Lane in Hartlepool.

“It later emerged Harrison had burgled three garden sheds in sheltered accommodation nearby,” said Mr Crook. “He also tried to break in to one of the bungalows, which was occupied by a woman in her sixties.

“The paperboy first became aware of the pair when they approached him and wanted to talk.

“One had a green scarf around part of his face, and the other was wearing a balaclava with a skull motif.

“The paperboy was uneasy because both appeared agitated.”

The court was told one of the defendants asked to see the paperboy’s mobile phone.

“He refused,” said Mr Crook. “One of the defendants said he would stab him if he did not give him the phone.

“The paperboy was pushed to ground, and felt a pain in his chest as the phone was taken from his pocket.

“The weapon used was a red-handled screwdriver, which Harrison had also used earlier in an attempt to burgle the bungalow.”

Harrison, 17, of Lealholm Road, Hartlepool, admitted robbery, attempted burglary, and three charges of burglary, all on January 17.

Dalkin, 18, of Northbourne Road, Stockton, admitted robbery on the same date.

Stewart Haywood, for Harrison, said in mitigation: “The attempted burglary was not a determined attempt, the photographs show he did little more than scratch the paint around the lock of the front door.

“None of these offences were planned or sophisticated, carried out as they were under the influence of drink and drugs.

“Mr Harrison is an immature and vulnerable young man, who lacks self-confidence.

“He was remanded in custody for a short while which was an experience he did not enjoy.”

Aisha Wadoodi, for Dalkin, said in mitigation: “He is still only 18, and has significant health problems, particularly with his heart.

“It may be he will need a transplant.

“His IQ has been assessed as 78, and his vulnerability is assessed as high.”

The Recorder, Mr Jonathan Aitken, sentenced Harrison to a 12-month youth rehabilitation order, including a curfew of three months.

Dalkin was given 15 months in prison, suspended for two years.

The recorder said: “You have both been to custody, so have both had the short, sharp, shock.

“I am prepared to give Harrison this one chance, and Dalkin should realise that any further offending will result in a return to prison.”

The screwdriver was confiscated and will be destroyed.