A teenager who snatched a gold necklace worth up to £3,000 from around a woman’s neck while her horrified children watched and then fled as the youngsters gave chase has been locked up.
Jhayon Williams targeted the woman after she parked her car outside her home, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard. Descriptions of the culprit given to police by the children helped bring him to justice.
Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting, told the court the 50-year-old mother had been shopping with her children aged nine and 12 before parking her car outside her West Bromwich home.
He said: “She started to unload the shopping when she felt a tugging at her neck.
“She initially thought it was one if the children trying to get her attention, but then both her children started screaming.”
The court heard the woman discovered the 18-year-old defendant was pulling at her gold chain.
He pulled at it with such force that it it broke free from her neck, then he fled.
Mr Searle said: “The two children chased after the defendant, but were unable to catch up with him.
“They were, however, able to give good description of him to the police.”
Williams was arrested the next day.
Mr Searle said that the mother suffered reddening to her neck as a result of the chain snatch. He said the necklace was worth between £2,000 and £3,000.
Williams gave a no comment when interviewed by police but did produce a statement denying it was him.
But he pleaded guilty to robbery, at 3pm on July 1, when he appeared in court.
The court heard he had a previous conviction for attempted robbery, for which he had been given a community order.
Mr Jas Mann, defending, told the court Williams was a drug addict, and had snatched the necklace to pay a debt to a dealer.
He said Williams, of Gads Lane, West Bromwich had recently found a job as a mechanic and had a supportive family network.
Recorder Mr David Bright told Williams: “You were sentenced approximately seven months before this crime for an offence of attempted robbery and you were given an opportunity to think about what you had done.
“You were subject to a community order and it appears to have had no impact on you what so ever.”
He added: “You expressed no remorse to the probation officers and you have done nothing to help recover the item, which was of substantial value.”
Recorder Mr Bright sentenced Wiliams to 15 months in a young offenders institution, and ordered him to pay a £100 victim surcharge.