A gang have been locked up for a combined 16 years for a series of “appalling” incidents in Scarborough including a robbery in which the young victim was bitten on the face.
The drug-crazed mob also burgled a house where one went armed with a lock knife which he opened up in case of a confrontation with the householder.
York Crown Court heard that the teenage robbery victim no longer dared walk through Peasholm Park, and the burglary victim now scrubs his walls clean to “expunge” terrible memories of being invaded by a knife-wielding yob.
The young gang members – whose ages range from 17 to 21 – appeared for sentence after they admitted an array of shocking offences.
Prosecutor Heather Gilmore said that in the early hours of May 19, a man was asleep at his home in Garfield Road, Scarborough, when Aaron Simkiss, 18, Curtis Forrester, 21, and Jorrell Byram, 18, broke into the mid-terrace property. They crept into an upstairs room next to the victim’s bedroom and bagged at least £1,500 of goods including a TV, Sony e-reader, legal bushcraft weapons, a rifle-scope cover, a unicycle and archery items.
The victim was woken by the commotion and saw two men running out of the door carrying their loot in a laundry basket. They hid in a cemetery but were arrested after being spotted by a police officer who gave chase.
Ms Gilmore said Forrester had eight diazepam tablets and some cannabis on him, but more worryingly, he admitted carrying a lock knife with an open blade during the burglary.
The raiders were bailed but on June 8, Simkiss and a youth member of the gang, who were both high on drugs, robbed a teenage boy of his iPhone in Manor Road Cemetery’s Secret Garden, next to Peasholm Park.
Simkiss pushed the boy to the ground and both thugs started hitting him, before Simkiss put him in a headlock and bit him on the cheek. They fled with his £500 phone but were later arrested in the Trafalgar Road area.
Ms Gilmore said the victim was put on antibiotics for the bite, adding: “He was incredibly scared and has had trouble sleeping since.”
The barrister said the youth robber had previously been arrested for criminal damage and possessing a knife in public. He had been living at sheltered accommodation in Scarborough where he smashed some banister spindles after kicking out in rage when a care worker tried to disrupt a noisy party at his flat. In another incident at a local school, he damaged doors after forcing his way in.
On May 18, he ran from police who spotted him with a dagger in Eastfield, pulling the blade out of his waistband as he ran before dumping it in a garden.
The youth admitted two counts of criminal damage, robbery and possessing a knife in public. Byram, of Colescliffe Road, Scarborough, admitted burglary and theft from a vehicle. Forrester, of Falsgrave Road, admitted burglary, handling stolen goods, fraud and possessing Class B and C drugs. Simkiss, also of Falsgrave Road, admitted robbery, burglary and theft from a vehicle.
The court heard that on March 11, Forrester and a cohort stole a £2,000 Giant TCR bike from a garden shed. Forrester later sold the bike for £300 at a local second-hand shop.
On May 18, Byram and Simkiss broke into a VW Golf parked in Hoxton Road and stole £70 of goods including CDs, a Sat Nav and a pair of designer shades.
Ms Gilmore said each of the defendants had a plethora of previous convictions.
Simkiss was jailed for six years. The youth was imprisoned for four years and two months. Forrester was jailed for three years and four months. Byram was jailed for 32 months. Each will serve their terms in youth-offending institutions.