Robber jailed for threatening two teenagers and stealing their bikes in Rugby

When two teenage brother could not sleep and decided to go to get something to eat at a Rugby supermarket, they ended up being robbed of their bicycles in an alleyway.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 12:23 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th November 2019, 12:31 pm

But despite being identified from a CCTV recording at the Asda store, Brandon Johnson denied carrying out the two robberies until the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court.

And after changing his pleas to guilty, Johnson (20) of Pudding bag Lane, Thurlaston, Rugby, was jailed for two years and eight months.

Prosecutor John Brotherton said that in March last year two brothers aged 14 and 18 woke in the early hours of the morning and, unable to get back to sleep, decided to go to get something to eat and drink.

Warwick Crown Court, at the Warwickshire Justice Centre.

At three in the morning they cycled to the 24-hour Asda store in Chapel Street, Rugby, and left their bikes at the entrance when they went inside.

When they came out, they saw Johnson by the bikes, and he asked them for ‘a backie.’

At first they refused, but he persisted, and eventually the 14-year-old agreed.

The three of them set off on foot, but as they went down an alleyway Johnson grabbed the younger boy’s bike and pushed him against the wall.

Putting his arm across the boy’s throat, he demanded both bikes, saying he had a knife, although one was not produced.

The boy released his grip on his bike, and told his brother to let go of his, and as they then ran off, Johnson cycled away on one of the bikes while pushing the other.

Johnson, who had previous convictions for violence, was identified from a CCTV recording at the store, and was arrested later that day, but denied robbing the two brothers.

He said he had seen them at Asda and had asked for a backie to New Bilton where he claimed he had got off and left them, added Mr Brotherton.

Graeme Simpson, defending, said Johnson had no stable accommodation, and was ‘sofa-surfing,’ but efforts were being made to find him supported accommodation.

“There was no physical harm caused to either victim, and all the evidence demonstrates that this was a spontaneous event.

“He has been out of trouble since December 2018, and there are signs he has started to grow more mature.

“It has dawned on him that alcohol is the fundamental cause of his immediate problems, and he’s doing something about it,” said Mr Simpson.

Jailing Johnson, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “Front and centre of this are the victims, two young men out at night. Although you did not know it, those young men have vulnerabilities.

“I am afraid I find there is evidence of something other than minimal or no physical harm, and this offence occurred at a time when you were on a community order.”