Bradford Telegraph and ArgusKnifepoint phone robber locked up (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

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Knifepoint phone robber locked up

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Darrell Richer, locked up for five years Darrell Richer, locked up for five years

A 20-year-old man who stole a teenage dog walker’s mobile phone at knifepoint and then tried to rob a petrol station has been locked up for a total of five years.

Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that Darrell Richer, of Brighouse, who carried out the two attacks in the Wakefield area last month, was already on bail for an early hours burglary in Sowerby Bridge when he confronted the 17-year-old youth as he walked his dog on a secluded footpath near to Pugney’s Country Park.

Prosecutor Allan Armbrister told the court that the complainant had been walking his dog on Durkar Low Lane at about 8pm when Richer asked him for the time.

After the teenager took out his mobile phone Richer produced a large kitchen knife and demanded the device.

Mr Armbrister said there was no-one else around and the complainant had no way of escaping. “Fearing for his personal safety he said ‘all right, you can have it,’” said Mr Armbrister.

Richer, of Arncliffe Crescent, ran off after the teenager handed over his phone, but the complainant and an off-duty police officer later recovered a discarded drinks can which had the defendant’s DNA on it. Less than an hour after that robbery Richer walked into a petrol station on Leeds Road, Wakefield, and again produced the knife as he demanded cigarettes from a female member of staff who was alone in the premises.

Richer fled when the 46-year-old woman refused to hand over any propert. He was identified from CCTV footage of the attempted robbery.

Richer pleaded guilty to the robbery and attempted robbery charges earlier this week and yesterday Judge David Hatton QC sentenced him to three years in a young offenders’ institution for those offences.

The court heard he had also pleaded guilty to the burglary of the apartment in Sowerby Bridge last September and Judge Hatton imposed an additional sentence of two years for that offence.

The judge said the burglary had been committed in the early hours while the occupants were asleep in bed, but fortunately they were not disturbed or confronted. Ryan Greenwood, 22, of Gooder Lane, Rastrick, who had admitted being involved in the apartment break-in as well as a separate burglary of a garage in Halifax in August was sentenced to 876 days in prison.

The court heard that Greenwood had a bad record for burglaries and he qualified for a minimum prison term under the so-called ‘three strikes’ legislation.

Richer’s lawyer Anne-Marie Hutton submitted that at the time of the robbery matters her client was being pressurised by others to commit the offences.

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