Two teenagers who took part in a daylight knifepoint robbery are starting their respective first custodial sentences.

Durham Crown Court heard that neither defendant, Reece Wilkin and Keiran Marley, have committed any previous offences until they approached and robbed another teenager early on the evening of Friday April 21 this year.

The court was told Wilkin, in particular, had a history of “ill-feeling” with the victim, who had the misfortune of being on the same bus as the pair, in Seaham, at about 5.50pm.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said the complainant got off the bus on Stockton Road, and began walking towards a park while carrying a rucksack over his shoulder.

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He became aware of someone approaching from behind and grabbing his right shoulder, saying: “Come here you”.

Mr Dryden said the victim then felt his bag being ripped from his shoulder and looked around to see Wilkin brandishing a knife in his direction, approximately one foot from his face and shoulders.

“He, not surprisingly, ran away, leaving his bag behind, and was pursued by Wilkin for a short distance, before the defendant gave up the chase.”

The victim then looked around and saw both defendants rifling through the contents of his rucksack as they walked away.

He rang to alert his parents who drove to the scene to collect their son.

The police were also informed and the victim told officers about the “history of ill-feeling” between himself and Wilkin, who he said had previously made threats to assault him.

Mr Dryden said among the contents of the bag was a wallet containing various bank cards, one of which was used at a nearby convenience store to buy cider and cigarettes worth £25, just three-quarters-of-an-hour after the robbery.

Five minutes later a second attempted purchase, for goods worth £28.85, was declined at another store.

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Both defendants were arrested later and when officers detained Wilkin they found a lock knife in the pocket of a jacket hanging on a bedroom door at his home.

They also recovered a small amount of amphetamine from him upon arrest.

Neither defendant, both of whom are aged 19, answered any police questions when interviewed.

Mr Dryden said the victim told police he was, “panicked” by the incident, in which Wilkin was said to be the main protagonist.

Both Marley, of Alexandra Road, Dawdon, Seaham, and Wilkin of no fixed abode, but with a former address in the town, each admitted charges of robbery, fraud and attempted fraud.

Wilkin also admitted having a bladed article in public and possessing a class B drug.

Gary Wood, for Wilkin, told the court his client has had, “previous problems” with the complainant, who he believed had been spreading rumours about him in the past.

Mr Wood said it was not, “a pre-planned” incident, but accepted whatever had gone on in the past between the defendant and the victim did not justify his actions that evening.

“It’s sad and disappointing that after being of previous good character and having not appeared before a court, he finds himself in custody.”

Mr Wood said the defendant had difficulty with depression and was prescribed medication.

He has also requested the assistance of the mental health team while on remand in custody.

Mr Wood added: “He has expressed a level of remorse in his pre-sentence probation report.

“He’s still a young man and he demonstrated a lack of maturity by the way he behaved, although it would seem there was no pre-meditation.”

Martin Scarborough, for Marley, said he played a “lesser role” in the incident.

“It wasn’t his ‘beef’, it was Mr Wilkin’s beef with the complainant, but he was aware of the background.

“It was a chance meeting as they all happened to be on the same bus.

“He (Marley) was not the one with the knife and not the one who chased after the complainant, but he did play a part in trying to use the bank card.

Read next:

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Six people jailed in cases at Durham Crown Court this week

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“He’s 19 and has no previous convictions, but he showed a misplaced loyalty to his friend.”

Recorder Dapinder Singh imposed a young offenders' institution sentence of two years and eight months on Wilkin, who he said appeared to have had, “previous issues with the complainant”.

Marley received a sentence of two years and four months to reflect his lesser role in the incident.