Thug (17) behind bars after stab threat to Burnley schoolboy and stealing his bike

editorial image

A THUG who produced a knife and robbed a schoolboy of his new mountain bike is behind bars for 18 months.

William Sutherland (17) had threatened to stab the 15-year-old and had ridden off on his £450 Christmas present, after swiping the knife across the boy’s knuckles. The defendant has a record for violence.

Sutherland, from Burnley, but of no fixed address, was sent to a young offenders’ institution, after admitting robbery, last February, at the town’s crown court.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said the victim’s bike had been his pride and joy. He arranged to meet two friends in the Accrington Road area of Burnley and the defendant was also present. The boy was worried as a friend had previously told him the defendant was interested in his bike and the victim thought Sutherland might try to take it.

They stopped at a shop and the 15-year-old turned his cycle upside down to do a minor repair. The defendant asked for a go on the bike, the victim refused, but Sutherland ignored that and put his hands on the handle bars to stop the schoolboy riding off.

Miss Statham said the schoolboy tried to get the defendant’s hands off the bike, but Sutherland told him to get off or he would stab him. He then produced a pocket knife and extended the three inch blade.

The defendant swiped it across the victim’s knuckles so the boy let go of the cycle. Sutherland then rode off.

The 15-year-old suffered a scratch and was attended by an ambulance crew. Police were called and went to the defendant’s mother’s home. They were told he wasn’t in, but he came to the door, was arrested and the bike was recovered.

The hearing was told Sutherland was questioned, claiming the victim had lent him the bike and he had not taken it without consent.

Mr Kevin Preston (defending) said the defendant, who had been on remand 81 days, had been in custody for the first time and appeared to have made constructive use of his time. The solicitor added: “It appears to have been an impulsive act, but fortunately the injury caused is relatively minor and the property was recovered very shortly after.”