Teenagers win sentence cut, despite degrading attack on disabled Shildon woman (From The Northern Echo)
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Teenagers win sentence cut, despite degrading attack on disabled Shildon woman
TWO teenagers who subjected a disabled woman to a degrading knifepoint attack in her home have had their sentences cut.
Josh Stobbs and Daman Roberts imprisoned their victim in her home in Shildon, County Durham, for six hours.
She was tied up and made to beg for her life while being threatened with a machete and a kitchen knife.
Stobbs, of West Chilton Terrace, Chilton, and Roberts, of Hullock Road, Newton Aycliffe, both 18, were given eight-year detention orders by Durham Crown Court last year.
Roberts admitted false imprisonment, criminal damage and theft, and Stobbs admitted false imprisonment, making threats to kill and criminal damage.
However, they appealed their sentences, which were yesterday cut to six-and-a-half years by the Appeal Court, in London.
The teenagers had been with three girls who called at the woman’s home in the early hours of May 28, last year, after she had gone to bed.
The victim, who had learning difficulties and physical disabilities, answered the door to the girls, who she knew, but Stobbs and Roberts followed them in the house.
They damaged the house, leaving the woman distressed, and refused to leave when she asked them to.
She was then threatened with a kitchen knife and a “machete-like knife”, made to go down on all fours on the floor, while Stobbs told her he was going to cut her toes and fingers off, and was then tied to a chair.
The pair put knives to her eyeballs and throat, repeatedly threatening to stab her, while subjecting her to humiliating verbal abuse.
The scenes were filmed on a mobile phone by Stobbs, and appeal judge Lord Justice Hooper yesterday said that it showed the pair had enjoyed what they were doing.
They eventually left, having threatened to come back and kill their victim if she reported them. Stobbs later gave himself up to the police, having shown the footage to his mother.
Lord Justice Hooper said: “Their actions were intended to humiliate, demean and distress and those efforts were successful. They were jointly responsible and their behaviour was equally appalling.”
However, he said: “Taking into account their guilty pleas and youth, we think the sentences should be reduced from eight years to six-and-ahalf years.”
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