TWO masked muggers who robbed a reveller in Burton town centre have each been locked up for 18 months.
Teenagers Dominic Wallace and Kieran Bellingham pounced on James Wright as he crossed St Peter’s Bridge in the early hours of the morning, Stafford Crown Court heard.
One of them knocked Mr Wright to the floor while the other grabbed the victim’s mobile phone.
The pair then ran off and although Mr Wright gave chase, he lost them and instead got in to a police car which toured the town centre looking for the robbers without success, said Nick Burn, prosecuting.
Wallace went and hid in a garden to change his clothes and hide the phone.
He was later stopped by a police officer, but allowed to go on his way. He later returned to his hiding place to retrieve his clothes and the phone.
But CCTV cameras had picked up the muggers and the police investigation led to Wallace’s arrest on October 14, two days later.
He claimed he had acted alone and refused to name anyone else involved, but his co-accused was arrested later the same day.
Wallace, 18, of Waterloo Street, and Bellingham, now 19, of Princess Street, were each sent to youth custody for 18 months after admitting a charge of robbery.
Judge Michael Elsom told them: “Mr Wright was seen by the police not long later and he was shaken and nervous. For those who deliberately set out to commit offences such as this, there must be only one punishment.”
Mr Burn said Mr Wright had been walking home around 3am after a night out when two males wearing masks and black hooded tops came running up behind him.
Nick Smith, for Wallace, said his client was aged only 18 and had been extremely candid with the police.
Simon Ward, for Bellingham, told the judge: “Getting involved in this robbery was something he was reluctant to do.”