A teenager has been given the opportunity to turn his life around after a judge took a chance on him putting his criminal ways behind him.

Bradley Marshall found himself back in court after he grabbed a man as he rode past him on a quad bike and pulled his coat off his back during the attack.

And the Hartlepool man had a ‘sobering’ lesson when he was sent to a ‘big boys’ jail while on remand, a judge was told.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 19-year-old then picked up the victim’s North Face coat, containing his mobile phone and house keys, and making off.

Tabitha Buck, prosecuting, said the defendant targeted the man as he walked home in the Catcote Road area of Hartlepool on January 16 this year.

“He approached by Marshall who was riding a red quad bike with no registration plate on,” she said.

“He has grabbed him by the coat from behind, he has managed to himself out of his jacket and run away.”

In a victim impact statement, the man said he been forced to move out of the Hartlepool area as he no longer felt safe in his own home.

The court heard how Marshall was also facing a deferred sentence for five attempted burglaries at the time of the offence.

Marshall, of Kilmory Walk, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to assault and theft as a result of the incident.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said: “He has been in ‘big boy’ prison and found it terrifying.

“Whilst he has been in custody, he lost his nanna and wasn’t allowed to attend her funeral – that was his own fault.

“If he hadn’t done what he did, he wouldn’t have been where he was.

“He has sobered up and grown up.”

Judge Chris Smith heard from Marshall’s stepfather who told the court that there was a job waiting for him at his roofing company when the teenager was released from prison.

The judge told the teenager that he would be made subject of a 12-month community order for the theft and assault before issuing him with a stark warning as he imposed a three-month deferral on his sentence for the attempted burglaries.

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“If you breach it, I will re-sentence you and you will have to the 12-month sentence waiting,” he added.

“He would have to go back to prison, break his mother’s heart, his room will be empty, and his stepfather would be without a labourer.

"He'll be out of Durham later today. Someone might go and collect him in a roofing van. He'll have to attend appointments with probation, but I've got a feeling his employer will give him the time off.

"If you screw up, you'd better bring your bag. And your mother can put your room on Airbnb."