A man and two teenagers have appeared in court following the series of incidents in Tameside and Oldham, while a fourth defendant has been convicted of admitting to receiving stolen goods.
An elderly man was robbed of just £ 5, while another had his dog chain taken away.
At around 12:40 p.m. on February 17 last year, a 14-year-old boy was cycling along Rowley Street in Ashton-under-Lyne. It was followed by a red Ford Fiesta, driven by 26-year-old Jack Paddon.
After the Fiesta stopped, the two teenage passengers from Paddon – aged 16 and 17 – grabbed the boy by the wrists.
The victim managed to free himself, before running home, leaving his bike.
The 16-year-old later bragged about stealing the bike, police said.
At around 2:50 a.m., a 45-year-old man was walking alongside Lance Corporal Breeze Way when he noticed Paddon’s Fiesta following him.
As he reached Edward Street, he was attacked by the teens, who cannot be named for legal reasons. One hit him with a metal pole in the head after the other tripped him.
They took his iPhone.
You can register very simply by following the instructions here
Police said the man had “permanent headaches”.
At around 4:30 a.m., a 75-year-old man was walking to retrieve a newspaper along Cotton Street East in Oldham when it was grabbed and pushed to the ground.
He took out a dog chain to defend himself, but the teens stole it.
The victim hit his head in the flooding and was left with swelling and bruising in his eyes and head, Greater Manchester Police said.
Minutes later, a 70-year-old man was waiting at a bus stop on Gas Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, after collecting his morning paper. He was robbed of just £ 5 after being attacked.
Police said the force of the beatings caused the man to “collapse to the ground” before the 16-year-old, who carried a knife, began to search his pockets and continued to attack him. kicking the head.
A woman intervened, before the thug ran away. The victim suffered multiple cuts to his face and hands – and bruises “all over his body,” police said.
Paddon and the teens then met 27-year-old Joseph Wilkinson before handing over the stolen items to him.
The four appeared at Minshull Street Crown Court on Friday, May 21.
Paddon, of St Johns Court, Hyde, Tameside, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and was jailed for six and a half years.
Wilkinson, of Stopford Street, Edgeley, Stockport, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods. He received an 18-month community order; ordered to follow a “course of reflection”; said to perform 20 days of required rehabilitation activities; and fined £ 250.
The 16-year-old was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to four counts of robbery; and possession of a bladed article.
The 17-year-old was sentenced to an 18-month pardon for robbery.
Prosecutor Paul Treble said earlier that court officers identified Paddon’s car from CCTV and found it in Stalybridge. He admitted to driving the vehicle the day before, but said he went to a car meeting.
After examining Paddon’s phone, police found conversations between the group about the thefts.
Padden has previously been convicted of unrelated cases. Wilkinson has previously been convicted of burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.
The 16-year-old had previously been convicted of violent disorder; battery; and brawl.
The 17-year-old has never been convicted.
“I don’t know what happened to the young people today”
The court heard a number of victim impact statements, including the 14-year-old, who said he now worries about people walking past him and constantly looking over his shoulder.
The 45-year-old said he used to take walks to ease his anxiety, but has stopped since being robbed. He said he had developed insomnia.
The 75-year-old said: “I get nervous when people walk behind me. All for a dog chain… it was a cowardly attack. “
The 70-year-old victim said: “I had pain in my leg and now use a cane.
“I don’t know what happened to the young people today. “
Mitigating for Paddon, Ian Metcalfe said: “The court can resist any claim that he coerced his co-defendants, there was no advance planning.
“He didn’t go out initially to be part of a series of thefts.
“He didn’t understand that the thefts involved two elderly men. “
To mitigate Wilkinson, Steven Sullivan said, “He didn’t have a thorough knowledge of these offenses.
“The offense shows the shortcomings of his thinking and his action on the situation. “
Mitigating for the 16-year-old, Estelle Waterhouse said: “He deeply regrets this period of his life.
“He is truly sorry for the pain and distress he has caused and he is ashamed of his actions.
Sentencing them, Judge Tina Landale said: “Jack Paddon, you were 25 at the time and your role was the driver.
“You led two teenagers to carry out these thefts, you drove them to identify easy targets.
“I observe that there is no reasonable reason why a 25 year old would drive two teenagers in his car, one with a metal pole, other than that it was a planned event. “
“Cowardly, unprovoked and unmotivated attacks”
In the wake of the case, Detective Constable Darren Byrne of GMP’s Tameside District, said the group “roamed the streets” before “preying on random members of the public, two of whom were elderly and unable to defend themselves properly ”.
“Anyone’s assault is heinous, but it was cowardly, unprovoked and unmotivated attacks that naturally rocked some of the victims for some time after the assault,” he added. .
“Today’s award is an excellent result and another step forward to help remove dangerous individuals from our communities. I hope that today will help give a sense of justice and closure to the victims. “