A 19 year old who robber was part of a gang that stole a motorbike and bicycle in Sheffield after mugging their owners has been jailed for two years and three months.
Blake Houghton admitted two counts of burglary, two of robbery and one of dangerous driving when he appeared at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, reports the Sheffield Star.
The court heard that the teenager was one of four occupants of a car, all wearing masks, who forced a motorcyclist to stop on the city’s Shirecliffe Road, with one of his accomplices making off with the motorbike.
Prosecuting counsel Matthew Burdon told the court that the victim had been squeezed by the driver of a Seat car who, like his three passengers, was wearing a mask, with the motorcyclist threatened with violence to force him to give them his motorbike.
According to Mr Burdon, “One male said get off the bike and leave the keys in and another male said ‘try anything and we will stomp the f*ck out of you’.”
In a separate incident on the same day – 12 December 2021 – Houghton accompanied another man on a motorbike with the pair cornering a cyclist, one of them threatening to stab him, and the defendant made off with his bicycle.
Houghton admitted having committed both robberies as well as two burglaries from apartment complexes and dangerous driving, the latter charge brought after he was filmed pulling a wheelie while riding a motorcycle.
In mitigation, defence counsel Chris Aspinall said: “The life he has led since he was 12 years old would cause disappointment and despair over the opportunities he was not given as a very young man.”
He said that a custodial sentence would benefit his client, who said he plans to live with his mother once he is released.
“Custody will allow him to have a clear head and a period of introspection about where he will end up if he does not change the lifestyle he has,” he said.
“He has thus far appeared to have made a decision that he is going to change his lifestyle though I admit the proof of that is in the pudding.
“He understands what he has done and he is emphatic about not attending before the courts in future.”
As well as jailing Houghton for two years and three months, recorder Jeremy Hill Baker also handed him a 25-month driving ban, and told him: “I hope when you are subsequently released you put all of this behind you and take all the help that is offered.”
We have reported on a number of cases in recent years in which cyclists have been mugged for their bikes, several of those on waterways in and around Birmingham.
Last year there was also a spate of thefts in or close to London’s Richmond Park where cyclists were robbed of their bikes by thieves riding mopeds, with some victims threatened with machetes if they did not hand over their bikes.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.