September 1, 2020 5.02 pm This story is over 45 months old

Teen sentenced over scary street robberies

One of three facing the courts

A group of youths carried out a series of terrifying street robberies during a four-day crime spree, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Tuesday.

Ethan Nicholas Brown, together with two accomplices, targeted lone people out at night in Spalding as they drove around the town looking for victims.

Brown and a 16-year-old boy then assaulted and robbed their targets while a 17-year-old girl, who joined them on the spree, filmed the attacks on her mobile phone.

Ethan Nicholas Brown, 19, of Matmore Gate, Spalding, admitted two charges of robbery, two charges of attempted robbery and a further charge of assault with intent to rob.

The offences took place between March 4 and 7, 2019. He was sent to a young offenders institution for three years.

The two juveniles were remitted to the youth court at an earlier hearing.

Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight, passing sentence, told Brown: “You went on a robbery spree with friends who were aged 16 and 17.

“This was planned behaviour, targeting lone victims at night and there was the use of gratuitous violence.

“You were older than the other two and you provided the car. In the course of four days you and they drove around looking for people to rob.

“It was truly terrifying for your victims and these were truly cowardly acts by you.”

Tony Stanford, prosecuting, said: “This was an ongoing campaign of deliberate violence conducted over several nights. It was gratuitous and it was planned. There was filming of it.”

Mr Stanford said the first victim was attacked as he walked home along Park Road, Spalding, after visiting his girlfriend.

“He noticed a parked car with a female in the rear and two males in the front.

“Seconds later he heard people running up behind him. He was hit to the back of the head and knocked to the ground.”

Mr Stanford said the man was repeatedly kicked and punched while he was on the ground and his wallet and phone were stolen. One of his attackers stubbed out a cigarette on his neck before they made off.

The victim was left with a broken nose, two black eyes, and a number of cuts and bruises.

Just over an hour later a second man was robbed as he walked along Woolram Wygate, Spalding. He put his arms up to protect himself but was repeatedly punched and then had his head phones, worth £150, stolen.

The victim had a tooth knocked out and suffered several bumps to his face.

Then, just two days later, another man was attacked on Clay Lane where he was punched and kicked as his attackers tried to pin him down on the ground. The victim, who was trained in martial arts, managed to break free and escaped.

The man later told police: “It was like they were pumped up with adrenalin. I think they were enjoying it.”

The victim of the fourth attack was never traced but police were able to prosecute because film of the attempted robbery was found on the girl’s mobile.

Mr Stanford said that the final attack targeted a lone woman as she walked on Pennygate, Spalding. An attempt was made to grab her phone and then her handbag was pulled off her shoulder.

The victim saw her attackers go to a nearby car and she pursued them.

“There was a male and a female in the car. The male with her bag got in the driver’s seat.

“She ran after them and managed to grab hold of the female by the hair and pulled her out of the car.”

The driver threatened to kill the victim if she didn’t release the female. The driver then retrieved the handbag and put it on the floor but before leaving the scene he pushed the victim to the ground and she lost consciousness.

An eyewitness took down the registration number of Brown’s car which led police to trace him and his accomplices.

Tara McCarthy, in mitigation, said that Brown had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had no previous convictions.

She said that he came from a good family but got in with the wrong group when he went to college.