A robber who grabbed the mobile phones of young girls has been locked up for four years.
Luke Reynolds deliberately preyed on the victims because he knew they would not fight back, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard yesterday.
The 22-year-old struck four times in Bilston within weeks of being freed from a 32-month jail sentence imposed for a knifepoint robbery.
Judge Michael Challinor told Reynolds: “You knew from your previous sentence how seriously courts take the use of a weapon, and so you deliberately targeted children who you knew you could rob without needing to be armed.”
The robber struck first in Hickman Park after spotting a 16-year-old girl walking her dog at 6pm on Sunday September 30, the court was told. When she refused his demand for her phone, Reynolds twisted her wrist until she dropped the £349 mobile which he rode off with on his bicycle, Miss Rhiannon Jones, prosecuting, said. On October 13 he grabbed a mobile from the hand of a 13-year-old as she sent a text message to her mother while walking along Dudley Street, Bilston at 2.10pm.
The next day in Bilston he stole mobiles from two more 13-year-olds in daylight after telling them “Give me your phone or I will kill you”, Miss Jones added. On each occasion he escaped on his bike. Police traced Reynolds three days later when one of the stolen mobiles was offered for sale at a shop by a friend of his who had two more of the haul at his home, the court heard.
Miss Chiara Maddocks, defending, said: “Unpleasant threats were made by him during the incidents but any injury suffered was minimal.” Reynolds, of Wolverhampton Street, Darlaston, pleaded guilty to four robberies and was jailed for four years by Judge Challinor who told him: “You targeted vulnerable victims.
“This sort of offending damages the lives of them and their communities. Rather than going out enjoying themselves, these children are sitting at home worrying in case somebody is going to come and attack them.”