A man has been jailed for three years for terrorising two Scarborough schoolgirls and trying to force drugs onto them.
Steven Noble, 33, approached the teenagers in Scarborough as they were walking home from school
He asked them for the time, but they thought he was “on something” and carried on walking, York Crown Court heard.
“He followed them and persistently engaged them in conversation,” said prosecutor Andrew Horton.
“He told them he was bipolar. They felt uneasy.”
Noble told one of the girls that “if she wasn’t in uniform he would ask for her number”, added Mr Horton.
He then grabbed the girl by the arm, pulled out a blister pack from his pocket containing Valium, and asked her if she wanted some pills.
The terrified girls walked off quickly and took refuge in a local convenience store, but Noble followed them in.
They walked back out but he followed them again, whereupon one of the girls took a picture of him on her mobile phone. She later passed the picture on to police who identified him.
Noble was arrested but initially denied the allegations.
Mr Horton said the young victim who had been grabbed by Noble had been badly “shook up” and was scared to leave her house.
“She says she has broken down crying and often gets panic attacks now,” he added.
Noble, of North Marine Road, Scarborough, was on bail at the time.
He had been given court bail in July after pleading guilty to attempted robbery at the Crown Court just 12 days before harassing the girls.
The attempted robbery occurred on March 16, when a 53-year-old man passed Noble and others on Alma Parade.
Noble followed the man and pestered him for cash. The victim said he didn’t have any, whereupon Noble punched him in the face, telling him: “I just want some money.”
When the man repeated that he didn’t have any, Noble pulled the neck of a broken glass bottle from his pocket and told him: “I’ve got this and I aren’t (sic) afraid to use it.”
Police were called and Noble left, telling the victim: “Sorry mate.”
He was arrested the following day, made denials, but was picked out in an ID parade.
He was charged with attempted robbery, pleaded guilty to the offence and sentence was adjourned in July, but he subsequently skipped the sentencing hearing, was arrested on a court warrant and remanded in custody.
He finally appeared for sentence via video link on Friday after ultimately admitting all the charges, including common assault against one of the girls and offering to supply a controlled drug.
The court heard that Noble had 61 previous convictions for 113 offences including theft and serious violence. He was given a conditional discharge in February for stealing wine from a supermarket.
Defence barrister Glen Parsons said Noble’s “bizarre and outlandish” behaviour was born of mental-health issues and exacerbated by drug use which had “wrecked” his life.
He said Noble believed he was bipolar although he had never been diagnosed.
Mr Parsons said Noble had not wanted to harm the girls or sell them drugs, but they would have found the incident “shocking and frightening”.
Judge Paul Worsley QC described Noble’s criminal record as “appalling” and said he would have jailed him for even longer but for his mental-health problems.