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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham man attempted to rob five teenagers

A 21-year-old Cheltenham man who attempted to rob five teenagers and also assaulted a man at a bus stop has been jailed for three years and nine months.

Prosecutor Giles Nelson told Gloucester Crown Court on Friday (November 11) that the assault and the robbery charges committed by Jack Finn of Miller Place, Milsom Street, Cheltenham, occurred following a drinking spree on August 7, 2022.

Two teenagers were walking along High Street at 4.30pm when they noticed Finn behaving in a bizarre manner, the prosecutor said. Finn had one trouser leg rolled up and was marching around in an inebriated state.

"He shouted at the teenagers to come and speak to him. Finn threatened them, saying: 'Which one of you owes me money?'

"One of the youths describes Finn as attempting to grab him, but he did not make contact and Finn gave up pressurising the teenager shortly afterwards.

"The second incident occurred 20 minutes later and involved a man who was smoking a cigarette at a bus stop. Finn approached Anthony Hughes and threatened to beat him up if he did not give him a cigarette.

"In a preventive move, Mr Hughes pushed Finn away but in retaliation Finn used a bottle in his hand to strike at his victim, making him to fall to the ground.

"The third incident, which occurred at around 6pm on the same evening, involved three teenagers on the Honeybourne Line walk in Cheltenham.

"Finn approached the teenagers and makes demands of them. He said: 'Give me all your money or I'll stab you'.

"Finn then grabs a sports bag from one of the young teenagers and throws the contents onto the ground. He then grabs at the neck of one of them and throws him to the floor and proceeds to demand money from him.

"Finn then snatches the necklace worn by a third teenager and he runs off with it."

Sarah Jenkins, defending, said: "Finn was unable to enter his pleas at the magistrates' court because he could not recall the incident and that the CCTV was not available at that time.

"But having seen the CCTV, the first incident was extremely short, and it is accepted there was a verbal exchange, but no physical contact was made.

"Clearly Finn overstepped the mark. He was clearly inebriated. He accepts he will receive a substantial sentence today.

"Finn explains that prior to the events on August 7, there had been a number of incidents in the building where he lives. He said that he had neighbours who attracted a number of individuals who would try and stay overnight with him.

"He wasn't sure how to deal with this because he felt if he reported it, this would put his tenancy in jeopardy. However, there were people from various bodies he was engaged with who could have helped him."

Finn admitted robbing a youth of his gold chain, assaulting Mr Hughes causing him actual bodily harm and trying to rob him of tobacco and attempting to rob five teenagers of money - two in Cheltenham High Street and three on the Honeybourne Line, during a two-hour period on August 7, 2022.

Judge Ian Lawrie KC said: "I dealt with you a while ago for a different set of offences. But I took this view, in light of your youth, as there were explanations as to why your life had become difficult.

"While I was keen to see you change your ways, I accept this would not have been an easy process, however, I have been unable to detect any significant efforts being made by you to this effect.

"You have squandered that opportunity, despite being supported by your family. Clearly you were very drunk when you committed these offences. This is not an excuse or an explanation.

"In truth, you have no mitigation for the latest offences, except for your early guilty pleas. These occurred over a two-hour period during which time you treated your victims with utter contempt."

The judge sentence Finn to a prison term of three years and nine months and ordered that he pay £228 victim surcharge.

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