A young man who grabbed a mobile phone out a student’s hands as she walked through a city centre has narrowly avoided being sent to prison.

Bradley Deluce was with a group of rowdy friend’s who approached the woman moments after she left a café in Durham city centre.

One of the group deliberately walked into the woman and tried to snatch her mobile phone but failed, however, the 23-year-old was successful in wresting it out of her hand.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the Durham University student managed to chase down one of the gang but eventually let him go after failing to recover the phone they robbed her of.

Martin Towers, prosecuting, said Deluce used a bank card hidden in the back of the mobile phone to by £34 worth of goods from a shop and CCTV from the premises was used to identify the suspect.

The judge heard that it was Deluce’s mother who notified the police that her son was responsible for the robbery on December 8, 2021.

Mr Towers said: “One of the group pushed into her shoulder and made an unsuccessful attempt to grab her phone. A second man was successful in grabbing the phone and then ran away.

“She gave chase and managed to detain the man who no longer had the phone. A member of the public told her it would be dangerous to continue to hold him.”

In a victim personal statement, the Durham University student said the robbery had resulted in her losing a significant number of photographs and personal data.

Deluce, of Red Rose Terrace, Chester-le-Street, pleaded guilty to robbery and fraud on the day his trial was due to start.

Sarah Hopkinson, mitigating, said Deluce had stopped smoking cannabis and no longer associated with the people present during the robbery.

She added: “He said it started out as a prank but understands the impact the incident would have had on the victim.”

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

​Black Friday Sale! 🌟 Grab our digital subscription for just £6 for 6 months. Limited time only!  Click here

Judge Jo Kidd told the defendant that his offence warranted an immediate custodial sentence and warned him that it was time for him to ‘grow up’.

She added: “You need to begin to get up on a morning get a job and go to work and start to behave like an adult.”

Deuce was sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also made subject to a three-month curfew between 7pm and 7am and told to attend 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.