A balaclava-clad teenager who dragged a terrified youngster out of a McDonald’s restaurant before stealing his phone and coat has been locked up.
Derby Crown Court heard on January 9 how John Lee, 18, targeted his 16-year-old victim in McDonald’s in Chesterfield town centre before forcing him to hand over his phone and coat in nearby Theatre Yard.
Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett told a previous Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing: “The victim is a 16-year-old. He describes being with friends in McDonald’s in the town centre in Chesterfield and a mate, known as John, came up to him a couple of times previously and he came up to him again and he was looking at him strangely.”
Lee asked his victim to come outside but the youth refused, according to Mr Hollett.
Mr Hollett added: “The defendant pulled a balaclava down over his face and began dragging him out of McDonald’s while saying you’re coming with me.
“The youth thought he was going to be beaten up and called to his friends and they ignored him and he believed it was because they were scared.
“He didn’t resist too much for fear of being hit and he described being dragged down an alleyway near Caffe Nero and into Theatre Yard and he fell to the floor and was pushed into a shop doorway.”
The defendant demanded the youth hand over his phone and coat, according to Mr Hollett who originally claimed Lee had been holding a small kitchen knife during the incident on December 10.
Mr Hollett said police tracked down a van belonging to Lee on Minimum Terrace, Chesterfield, and found the victim’s coat and phone among other items including cannabis.
Police believed Lee had been living in the van, according to Mr Hollett.
Lee, of Bruach Road, Sandy Lane, Stourport-on-Wye, pleaded guilty to robbery, possessing a class B drug and to using a vehicle without insurance.
During sentencing at Derby Crown Court, no evidence was offered concerning a further original charge of possessing a knife in a public place.
Lee was sentenced to 32 months of detention in a Young Offenders’ Institution.