Drugged-up robber jailed for Halifax attack on terrified schoolboy

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A 32-year-old man who had consumed ‘a cocktail’ of drugs has been jailed for 20 months for the tea-time street mugging of a teenage schoolboy.

Liam Sharpe spotted the 16-year-old in his school uniform in the King Cross area of Halifax.

Prosecutor Robert Galley told Bradford Crown Court on Tuesday that the boy was fearful when he became aware of a car behind him after getting off the bus in January.

During the robbery Sharpe grabbed the boy by his school tie and repeatedly demanded: “Give me your phone or I’ll break your legs.”

Mr Galley said Sharpe tightened his grip using the tie and took the boy’s phone and ear-phones.

After the robbery in January the boy’s parents helped to track down the stolen phone using an app on the device and Sharpe was arrested in the vehicle which contained the youngster’s stolen property.

In a drugs test Sharpe was found to have seven different substances in his system.

Mr Galley said the boy’s victim impact statement revealed that he had suffered panic attacks and sleepless nights after the robbery.

The court heard that the teenager was left feeling scared and missed a week of school.

Sharpe, of Ovenden Green, Halifax, pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and driving whilst unfit through drugs.

Barrister Abigail Langford, for Sharpe, said he had no previous convictions, but at the time of the offence he was using drugs.

Miss Langford said the sudden death of Sharpe’s mother later year had rocked the family and her client had taken a downward spiral.

She conceded that it was a serious case, but urged Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC to suspend the inevitable prison sentence.

But the judge told Sharpe that he had targeted the schoolboy for no reason other than to steal his property to buy more drugs.

The judge said the teenager had been traumatised after the robbery and there was no alternative to an immediate jail sentence.

Sharpe was also given a 22-month extended driving ban.