Brave schoolboy fought violent bike robber in Doncaster and later tracked him down

A brave South Yorkshire schoolboy fought the man who violently mugged him for his £1,000 mountain bike before tracking him down when he tried to sell it, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Thursday, 30th July 2020, 4:57 pm

The 15-year-old was accosted by Robert Clarke, and an another man on Melton Road, Sprotborough, near Doncaster, at around 8.30pm, on November 15, 2018.

"His path was blocked and he was knocked off his bike with a rugby tackle and they both ended up on the floor," prosecutor Louise Reevell said on Thursday.

Clarke put the boy in a headlock and punched him seven or eight times on the back of his head and hit him on the jaw.

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Melton Road, Sprotbrough.

When the boy, who is now 17, tried to ring for help, Clarke demanded he hand over his phone, but the boy hit him on the jaw, and the men fled with his bike.

The boy, who was in pain for a few days, began checking online selling sites and uncovered Clarke's Facebook page in March 2019, where he was trying to sell "distinctive modifications" from the bike.

Clarke was arrested in April 2019 and denied the robbery, but his DNA was found on the boy's coat.

The court heard he has 12 previous convictions including theft, battery and burglary.

In a statement, the boy said the incident affected his performance in an important exam he had to take the next day, and caused him "stress and anxiety" for months afterwards.

He saved up £500 from part-time jobs and his parents paid the other £500 as a Christmas present, adding: "It broke my heart to see that my bike had been broken down for parts.”

Richard Adams, mitigating, said Clarke, a father of two, was "horrified" when he discovered the boy’s age, but believed the bike was stolen from one of his associates

He began offending aged 17, after suffering domestic violence from his father from an early age, and now cares for his uncle, who has dementia

Clarke, 28, of Smith Square, Balby, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to robbery on July 7.

Judge Sarah Wright imposed a five-year restraining order, banning Clarke from contacting his victim.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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