‘Bully’ mugger (27) targeted 14-year-old schoolboys

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A THUG who tried to mug two 14-year-old schoolboys with a masked accomplice has been sent to prison for 12 months.

Michael Boothby (27) behaved like a bully towards the frightened victims during the night-time attacks in Burnley in January, Burnley Crown Court was told.

The defendant, formerly of Prichard Street, Burnley, but more recently of Church, is already serving four years behind bars after earlier admitting burglary, blackmail, theft and affray.

Judge Simon Newell has now given him another 12 months, to run consecutively, after he was convicted by a jury of two charges of attempted robbery.

The judge told the defendant he had been substantially older than the victims and his associate had been wearing a disguise. But, added the judge, no weapon had been used,

Tim Storrie (defending) said such offences almost always attracted imprisonment and any sentence was likely to be consecutive.

In March, Boothby was locked up for being one of three drunken men who subjected a love triangle widower to a terror ordeal, after pushing their way into his Burnley home.

In the trouble, the victim had been threatened and intimidated by the trio. They also stole from him and the haul had included a diamond ring which had belonged to his late wife.

Boothby then blackmailed the victim, saying he could be protected from one of his co-defendants for several hundred pounds.

Boothby took him to a cash machine and helped himself to the victim’s car keys and drove the vehicle away.

The hearing was told the defendant’s partner had died not long before, leaving him alone with a child. He had turned to drink and had become associated with the co-defendant. Boothby had a long criminal record.