Teens locked up after terrorising lone women in street attacks

Connor Tyler.
Connor Tyler.

Two Hartlepool teenagers being hunted for knife robbery attacks on lone victims were collared after a brave woman snapped them on her phone and gave police the breakthrough they needed.

Connor Tyler, 18, and a 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, were jailed for a total of more than seven years after subjecting their victims to what a judge described as ‘terrifying experiences’.

Teesside Crown Court and combined court centre

Teesside Crown Court and combined court centre

Two of the victims were carers who worked together and the third was a grandmother, all targeted on quiet paths by the pair.

Prosecutor Nigel Soppitt told Teesside Crown Court a friend of one victim saw the pair, one in a balaclava, several times and “bravely” started to film them.

She took it to her friend who had been robbed of her purse and cigarettes and the next day the face-on shots were handed to the police who made arrests within 24 hours.

The court heard their victims were threatened with a knife held by the younger robber in the Hardwick area of Stockton.

Andrew Finlay, defending the younger robber, said that he had been on a four day drugs binge and he wanted money to buy more.

The youth said that he and Tyler had egged each other on.

The court heard he had written a letter of apology to the victims and he had expressed remorse.

John Nixon, defending Tyler, said that he had suffered serious head injuries in a road traffic accident in 2015 and he was very vulnerable and not the prime mover in the robberies.

Judge Tony Briggs told them: “The victims were subject to a terrifying experience, and one can only imagine more terrifying experiences than to go along a road you regularly use to be confronted by two young men, one masked and threatening with a knife.

“For an adult it is perfectly plain that the starting rate would be eight years.”

Tyler, of Grange Road, Hartlepool, who appeared over a videolink from Durham Jail, was jailed for three years and four months after he pleaded guilty to two robberies.

The younger robber, also from Hartlepool, who appeared over a videolink from Wetherby young offender’s institute, was sentenced to four years detention after the he pleaded guilty to two robberies, one attempted robbery, possession of cannabis and using a knife to threaten.