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Gloucestershire Business News

'I've never been so afraid' woman tells trial of Gloucester teen who threatened her with knife

A teenager paid two prostitutes for oral sex in a park - then demanded his money back and threatened to kill one with a knife before attacking the other, a court heard.

Claudio Neves-Silva, 19, of no fixed address, was jailed for four and a half years at Gloucester crown court on Friday after he admitted robbing both women and assaulting one of them causing actual bodily harm in the city's Napier Park on Aug 31st last year.

Prosecutor Janine Wood said Neves-Silva first met Nichola Jenkins in the park and paid her £25 for for oral sex. But when she had finished he told her 'Give me the money back or I'll stab you in the back'."

Ms Jenkins, who was in her forties and has sadly died since the incident, handed the money to Neves-Silva because she feared for her life, said the prosecutor.

She then realised that Neves-Silva was staying in the park looking for another sex worker and she decided to try to find her friend Christine Maher before he did.

She and a male friend went looking for Ms Maher to warn her - but were too late, said the prosecutor.

"Ms Jenkins and her friend found Ms Maher in the middle or oral intercourse with Neves-Silva. He then demanded his £20 payment back and he hit her, leaving her with an egg-shaped bruise.

"The male friend intervened and Neves-Silva hit him in the cheek."

The police were called and Ms Maher, also in her forties, later picked Neves-Silva out in an identification parade.

In a victim impacxt statement Ms Maher said that the incident had left her fearing for her life. She added that she needed to be a sex worker because she had a drug habit.

She concluded: "I've never felt so afraid."

There was no statement from Ms Jenkins, who has died since the offences, the court was told.

Catherine Spedding, defending, said: "Neves-Silva has been disowned by his family and has been evicted from his hostel. He is effectively homeless, but feels he has now learnt his lesson."

Judge Ian Lawrie QC told Neves-Silva: "You chose to rob people who are at the bottom of the social ladder. You picked on two vulnerable women and threatened them with violence and robbed them of a meagre amount of money."

The judge sentenced Neves-Silva to four-and-a-half years in prison and ordered him to pay a £170 victim surcharge.

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