AN attacker who threatened to stab a 14-year-old boy during a violent street theft has been put behind bars.
Bryan Devonport, 26, of Thornton Court, Glebe, Washington, made the chilling claim while violently struggling with the boy, who had been making his way home, to steal his mobile phone.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the terrified youngster, who was elbowed during the ordeal, has been left afraid to go out after dark.
Devonport, who admitted theft and common assault, was jailed for 15 months.
Judge Brian Forster QC told him: “This was a terrifying attack by you on a 14-year-old boy. That boy was doing nothing but go home.
“It is every parent’s nightmare that their child get involved in an incident such as this. The circumstances are aggravated by what you said at the time. You threatened to stab him. This was an unforgivable set of circumstances.”
The court heard the boy had been out with friends on September 18 last year and was walking home alone at about 9pm.
When the teenager refused to hand over his phone to Devonport, there was a violent struggle.
Prosecutor John Brennan told the court: “The boy tried to hang on to the phone and the defendant tried to pull it away from him.
“The defendant began to elbow him and said ‘get off or I will stab you’. This was a child who was in an alleyway between houses, at night, on his own, being attacked.”
The boy told police in a statement he is now scared to go out alone and lives in fear that something may happen to him.
He said: “I have never felt like this before.”
John Wilkinson, defending, said Devonport had been drunk and emotional following the death of his mother some months before.
Mr Wilkinson said: “He is someone who has a significant problem with alcohol.”