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Three who targeted vulnerable in Wirral robberies are jailed
THREE young men have been put behind bars after carrying out a series of "nasty" robberies in Wirral.
The trio, Derek Grattan, 22, Joshua Hughes, 19, and 18-year-old Lewis Walsh were convicted after a trial of targeting three vulnerable people to try to take their mobile phones.
Sentencing them the judge, Recorder Neil Flewitt, QC, told them: "You were hanging around looking for someone to rob. The offences were carried in the hours of darkness against easy or soft targets."
He also told them: "This case is not just about you three. This case is about public confidence and protection of the public who must feel safe to walk the streets in the dark without fear of being mugged."
He jailed Grattan for two and a half years and sentenced Hughes, of Astonwood Road, Tranmere, and Walsh, of Bebington Road, Tranmere, to 18 months' detention.
Sara Holt, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that two boys aged 16 and 14 met up at Heswall bus station on November 7 last year and were immediately targeted by Walsh.
He asked the 16-year-old if he could "have a look" at his mobile phone contacts list but when he showed it to him he grabbed it and a "tug of war" began when the boy refused to let it go.
Walsh then grabbed him by the neck and shoved him up against a bus shelter before giving the phone back, saying he was only joking.
Thee judge said in his opinion he only gave it back after realising the casing was cracked and it had no value.
Grattan, of Herrick Street, Old Swan, then told the younger boy he would break his jaw if he did not hand his phone over and having seen his friend attacked already, he did so.
The three then ran off before surrounding a 24-year-old man, who had Aspergers syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder on Pensby Road.