Robber branded a danger to the public after getting into a stranger's car and demanding a lift before stealing his cash

A serial criminal who robbed a teenage stranger for being "cheeky" by refusing to give him a lift has been put behind bars and branded a danger to the public.

Friday, 26th June 2020, 3:08 pm
Updated Friday, 26th June 2020, 3:08 pm
Bryan Devonport

Bryan Devonport got into the passenger seat of a car and demanded to be taken somewhere then produced a screwdriver and held it to the 17-year-old driver's abdomen when he was told no.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 34-year-old forced the teen to drive where directed and then ordered him to hand over £30 from his wallet and took a phone charger.

Prosecutors say the victim, who had been sitting in the driving seat reading his texts after dropping off a friend in Sulgrave, Washington when Devonport got into the car last May, was "in terror at what might happen".

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Devonport, who denied robbery and had tried to convince a pal to give him a false alibi, was convicted by a jury after a trial he said was a "joke".

Mr Recorder Craig Hassell sentenced Devonport to five years behind bars, with a two year extended licence period and told him: "I am satisfied you pose a high risk of serious harm to members of the public and that you are dangerous."

The judge added: "He had just given a friend a lift home when you got into the passenger side of his car, unannounced and uninvited, and asked for a lift.

"No unreasonably, he refused, at which point you produced a screwdriver from your pocket and brandished it at him, holding it towards his abdomen.

"He was, understandably, terrified.

"He drove off down the road as you directed and you then directed him to stop.

"Such was the level of his fear and the level of threat you posed he did exactly what you asked him to do.

"He went to the boot of the car and handed you his wallet and from it you stole £30. You also took his mobile phone charger before you made off on foot."

The judge said Devonport, who has convictions for 113 previous offences, has shown "precious little remorse" and told him: "You told the jury the trial was a joke to you.

"You told a probation officer you committed the offence because the complainant had been cheeky to you when you, a complete stranger, got into his car and demanded a lift."

The court heard at the time of the robbery Devonport, of Barrowdale Street, Hetton, was the subject of a condition discharge for repeatedly spitting at police who were trying to arrest him in 2018.

He had admitted an unrelated offence of criminal damage.

Susannah Proctor, defending, said Devonport has led a "chaotic lifestyle" but has made progress and completed courses in custody.

Miss Proctor said the robbery offence was "short lived" and no actual violence was used.

She added: "He wants to change."

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