'Utterly incompetent' Sunderland knife robber used own phone to set up ambush - which linked straight to his Facebook page

Liam Dixon
Liam Dixon

A "hopeless" robber threatened to slit a delivery driver's throat unless he handed over a £23 takeaway from his favourite chicken shop - after summoning him to the scene using his own details.

Hungry Liam Dixon lured the worker to Warwick Street in Sunderland by placing a Dixy Chicken order to a bogus address and lay in wait for him to arrive with the food.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 19-year-old covered his face with a scarf before he pounced, snatched the takeaway and told the driver "I will cut your throat" with a large knife he was carrying.

The court heard the frightened driver feared he was about to be stabbed and told police he thought he might die during the ordeal last November.

Dixon, of no fixed address, who was out on licence from a previous prison sentence for robbery, fled the scene with the food.

But the court heard he had used his own mobile to request the food delivery, a number he had used over 90 times to order in the past.

His telephone number was also linked to his own Facebook profile, which displayed a picture of his face for all to see.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court: "It was not difficult to locate the defendant because in fact he had used his own mobile telephone to order the takeaway.

"This defendant was in fact a regular customer of Dixy Chicken, they had 96 orders recorded with the same mobile phone number.

"The driver's friend suggested that they Google the telephone number and it was linked to the defendant's Facebook account.

"As soon as he saw the profile picture he knew it was the man who robbed him."

Dixon pleaded guilty to robbery and having a bladed article.

Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced him to three years and four months behind bars and said he was "utterly incompetent" at committing robbery.

The judge told Dixon: "You told him you wanted the food. You were backing away from him and said if he came anywhere near you you would cut his throat then ran away.

"He has described being extremely scared and thought you were going to stab him.

"He thought he might die.

"It was dark, you were masked and you had a large knife."

The judge said it was an aggravating factor that the robbery was a planned attack.

But she added: "There was significant planning. It was useless planning, hopeless, far from impressive but he did plan it because he made the phone call and organised the delivery.

"He had gone to the trouble of covering himself with a scarf."

Vic Laffey, defending, said the robbery was "very unsophisticated" and added: "When one hears the detail, with the telephone number in particular, the outcome was inevitable.

"He appreciates a custodial sentence is inevitable.

"Planning is accepted, very poor planning."