A teenager who robbed a 14-year-old boy during a terrifying Metro train attack has been given a chance to keep his freedom.
Declan Lancaster, 18, kicked his victim in the head and took his mobile phone when they travelled on the same train in Sunderland.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim had already been subjected to threatening behaviour by other youths before Lancaster boarded the train at South Hylton.
Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, told the court: “The involvement of this defendant was to assault the complainant by swinging from the safety handle of the carriage, kicking the complainant in the head and to his body.”
The court heard before the victim got off the train at the Stadium of Light station Lancaster had taken his mobile phone.
Lancaster of Fordfield Road, Sunderland, admitted robbery.
Since the attack Lancaster, who has previous convictions, has enrolled on a Prince’s Trust course and lost his “gutter bravado”.
He has been keenly taking part in work to help the community and stayed away from trouble, the court was told.
Judge Tim Gittins adjourned the case for six months to see if Lancaster has changed.
The judge said: “It strikes me you can go one or two ways.
“Carry on in the way you have been doing, out of control over the last few years, or you can go the way you have gone over the last few months.”
Judge Gittins said Lancaster faces around 26 months behind bars if he gets in further trouble, or a non custodial sentence if he continues with his good work.
The judge told him: “It is in your hands.”
Lancaster must abide by a 10pm to 7am curfew until he is back in court next April.