Three homeless men who robbed and attacked a student who was on a night out in Chester have been sentenced to a total of four years behind bars.
James Burke, 21, was sentenced to 16 months, Gary Fleming, 53, will also serve 16 months and Joshua Williams, 26 has been sentenced to 17 months. All had previously pleaded guilty to robbery and were sentenced at Chester Crown Court today (Tuesday 17 April).
The court heard how, in the early hours of 16 October last year, the victim – an 18-year-old man - was outside Cruise nightclub on St John Street asking a group of people to help get him back into the club after he was ejected.
The victim asked Williams if he knew another way of getting inside after trying and failing to get into the club through the smoking area. Williams told the victim he knew a way and asked him to follow him around the corner.
Williams then led the victim up St John Street onto Foregate Street and up onto the city walls. They then walked a short distance before moving down some steps near to the back of the nightclub.
When they got to the bottom of the stairs the victim was approached by Burke and Fleming.
One of the men grabbed him around the throat and demanded that he hand over money. The victim then had his coat pocket ripped open and they removed his mobile phone and wallet. The attackers then threw his phone to the floor before assaulting him by punching him to the face. The men then ran up the steps and onto the city walls.
The victim didn’t sustain any serious injuries and informed police straight away.
Detective Constable Rob Mackay, of Chester CID, said: “Burke, Williams and Fleming took advantage of a drunk teenage student by befriending him and offering to help him get back into the club - knowing all along they were planning to rob him.
“They were arrested shortly after the incident and, as part of our enquiries, the men were seen captured on CCTV talking to the victim and leading him down the alley where they committed their attack.
“All three have now been punished for their actions against the victim and will be behind bars for some time.
“Chester LPU is committed to making the city a safer place for those who want to enjoy a fun night out and will not hesitate to take action against those who are intent on spoiling that fun for everyone else.”