23rd Oct, 2019

Masked teenagers attack elderly Sikh man after robbing woman's Mercedes keys at Coventry home

JUST 15 minutes after robbing a woman of her Mercedes car keys on the doorstep of her Coventry home, two masked and hooded teenagers attacked and robbed an elderly Sikh man in the street.

And a judge heard that at the time one of the violent thugs, Samuel Perkins, was on licence from a custodial sentence for his part in the vicious robbery of a shop assistant.

Perkins (18) of Holyhead Road, Coventry, was jailed for six years after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of robbery.

Prosecutor Charles Crinion said the offences were both committed with a 16-year-old, who cannot be named, who was dealt with in the youth court and given a detention and training order.

Mr Crinion said that on April 24 a woman parked her Mercedes car opposite her home in the Radford area of Coventry at around 10.30am.

As she got out, she noticed a black car speed past and come to a screeching stop ahead of her, and immediately realised something was not right.

The 16-year-old driver and Perkins got out of the black car, both with their hoods up and wearing balaclava masks, and chased after her as she ran to the house and opened the door.

But they caught up before she was able to close it, and Perkins jammed his foot in the doorway as he and his accomplice tried to force their way in, demanding her car keys.

The woman’s older daughter joined her to try to force the door closed as her younger girl, who was also at home, began crying and screaming in fear.

Unable to do so, she let the door open slightly further and threw the key out, at which it was picked up and the two young robbers picked it up and made off in her car.

Less than 15 minutes later an 81-year-old Sikh man was returning from the temple to his home in nearby Grangemouth Road, and as he got out of his Peugeot car he saw the two teenagers, still masked and hooded, running towards him.

Demanding the keys to his car, they pushed him with some force, knocking him to the floor and knocking his turban off his head, and began punching him as he lay on the ground.

Perkins kicked him ‘using a lot of force’ three of four times, during which he dropped the key fob.

But neighbours who had seen the vicious robbery rushed to his assistance and managed to detain both attackers and retrieve the key before calling the police who arrived and arrested them.

The court heard that Perkins had previous convictions including one for his part in a robbery in which an assistant at a grocery store in Radford Road was hit 15 times with a metal pipe, fracturing her jaw, before the raiders escaped with just bars of chocolate, for which he was sentenced to three-and-a-half years.

Perkins, who also had a conviction for an affray while in custody, was on licence from that sentence, imposed in 2015, at the time of his latest offences, added Mr Crinion.

Referring to reports and references on Perkins and a letter from him, Lee Masters, defending, said: “I have explained to my client and to his family that I do not propose to be lengthy, for the simple reason I was confident Your Honour would have read the matters placed before you.

“He is realistic, as are his family. Quite simply, it’s a question of ‘how long?’”

Mr Masters said Perkins had had numerous difficulties in his early life, and did not receive treatment for various conditions, including ADHD, with which he has been diagnosed.

Sentencing Perkins, Judge Anthony Potter said that, for the first victim, seeing the two of them running towards her wearing balaclava masks ‘must have been a most terrifying thing.’

“She managed to gain entry to her property, but you continued to pursue her, and as she shut the front door you took the lead and demanded the keys to her car and were trying to force the door open.

“You continued your demands until she threw you the keys and you then ran away.

“You then went to a street a short distance away and turned your attention to an 81-year-old man.

“I will take account, in sentencing you, of your age – but you gave absolutely no consideration to the age of the man you punched and kicked, even doing that while he was on the ground. That should make you thoroughly ashamed.

“You have three sets of convictions, all of which involve the use or threat of violence, and you were on licence at the time you committed these offences.

“You have, for one so young, a very concerning record, but it is clear you are a young man with difficulties not of your making.”

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