Teenager jailed for robbery of treasured necklace from vulnerable man
By Court reporter | 24th May 2019
A Gloucester teenager has been sentenced to four and a half years in custody for assaulting one man and then robbing another of a treasured necklace he had received from his dying father.
Claudio Neves-Silva, of no fixed abode, robbed Michael Davies in his home while on bail for an earlier offence of assault when he attacked a man he saw urinating in public, Gloucester crown court was told.
The 19-year-old pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm on Emad El Mohamed on 1st April last year and robbing 'vulnerable' Michael Davies of a necklace on 22nd November. He also pleaded guilty to being in possession of cannabis on both occasions.
Prosecuting, Giles Nelson said that on 1st November Neves-Silva came across a man urinating in the street.
"Following a short conversation, Neves-Silva launched an unprovoked attack with a number of blows and then kicked the victim while he was on the ground. He says he passed out," Mr Nelson told the court.
"The defendant admitted the offences and said he didn't know why he did it. He said perhaps he was vexed that the man was urinating in public.
"The man is now scared and paranoid about going out. He is very upset by the incident."
The second incident happened on 22nd November at the Dorchester Guest House where Neves-Silva had been a resident but was evicted the day before, said Mr Nelson.
He told the court that his victim, Mr Davies, was "a somewhat vulnerable individual."
He was in his room when he heard something thrown at the window. He saw the defendant outside and went down to let him in. He recognised the defendant as someone who lived there but didn't know him that well, said the prosecutor.
Mr Davies had a chain around his neck which has sentimental value because it was given to him by his late father, Mr Nelson continued.
"The defendant asked for it. He refused, telling the defendant it had been round his neck for 7 years and was given to him on his father's death bed.
"Mr Neves-Silva said if he didn't give it then 'I'll cut you up, you ****.'
When he was later arrested, Neves-Silva was wearing the necklace but told the police it was his and he had bought it.
Defending, Matthew Harbinson said his client has now spent six months in custody awaiting sentence and it has made him look at how he was leading his life.
"He has made a positive decision to not behave like he has in the past. He was a rather different person six months go and has since utilised his time in custody well."
The court heard that Neves-Silva has been offending since he was 13 after a 'rather difficult upbringing.'
"He was in foster placements from an early age, suffered the absence of a father and a difficult relationship with his mother. The process of maturing is often reliant on factors beyond someone's control. Many things happened in my client's life that were beyond his control" Mr Harbinson told the court.
Sentencing, Recorder Kate Brunner QC told Neves-Silva that the assault had been 'completely unprovoked.'
"You left him unconscious. He had a black eye and many cuts and bruises. The effect on the victim was significant. He is now scared to go out," said the Recorder.
"You were on bail when you committed the second offence where you threatened to make a mess of Mr Davies if he didn't hand over the chain he received from his father on his death bed.
"You threatened him and he handed over his most treasured possession. You told him if he reported it he wouldn't walk again.
"You have an appalling record for someone so young, starting at just 13 years old.
"However I accept you have significantly matured and I also accept you are genuinely remorseful."
Recorder Brunner QC sentenced Neves-Silva to four years in a youth offenders institution for the robbery and a further six months for the assault to run consecutively.
He was also sentenced to one month for each of the possession of cannabis offences and a further month for breaching a previous conditional discharge but those sentences will all run concurrently.
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