A 13-YEAR-OLD boy was robbed by two strangers who approached him in a park.
The youngster was sitting on a bench in Mowbray Park in Sunderland with two friends when Christopher Fairley and Stephen Bates targeted him in January.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Fairley warned: “I will knock all three of you out” when the lads refused to hand him a cigarette, then started demanding money.
The frightened young victim then handed over £5 and asked: “If I give you the money will you leave me alone?”
Both robbers then left the park.
The victim told police: “All my money has gone.”
Fairley, 26, of South View, Annfield Plain, Stanley, and Bates, 23, of Peasemore Road, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to robbery.
Judge John Evans told them: “This was a mean offence committed against a young boy who was, by reason of his age, vulnerable. It is fortunate from your point of view that although you undoubtedly frightened him, no serious harm befell him.”
The judge deferred sentence for six months to give the pair a chance to prove themselves but warned them they would face jail if they got into trouble again and he would consider a jail term with a starting point of six months.
Defence barristers said the pair have troubled backgrounds but are working with professionals to help them overcome their problems.