A schoolboy was robbed and then punched in the face in what a judge described as a “mean, nasty, bullying offence”.
Preston Crown Court heard that Liam Kennedy, 23, of Church Brow, Bolton-le-Sands, and two other men targeted their 14-year-old victim as he played on his Nintendo DS games console with his friends in Market Square, Lancaster, on October 13 last year.
Kennedy asked him for a “fag”, and then tried to snatch the games console.
The 14-year-old refused to hand it over but was then punched in his head, causing a cut to his temple. Kennedy and his accomplices then ran away through a shopping centre and through Lancaster city centre, and the boy gave chase.
At one point Kennedy handed it back to the schoolboy but then snatched it again. Police were called and he was arrested and the console was given back to its owner. Kennedy pleaded guilty to robbery.
Kennedy’s defence lawyer said he had symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome which meant he was easily led by others, and that he had been “dared”by his accomplices – two notorious brothers.
Judge Stuart Baker said: “ You have committed a robbery in the street on a young lad aged only 14. What you did was subject him to a very unpleasant ordeal. I have no doubt he was very upset and rightly so and probably will remember it for a considerably period of time.
“It was a mean, nasty, bullying offence and ordinarily, if you did not have the sorts of difficulties I have read about, you would be going straight into prison.”
Kennedy was jailed for 16 months suspended for two years, and given a two year supervision, with a six month elecronically tagged curfew. He must pay £300 compensation.