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Teens sentenced in Royal Court over knife-point fake drug deal theft

Teens sentenced in Royal Court over knife-point fake drug deal theft

Thursday 15 April 2021

Teens sentenced in Royal Court over knife-point fake drug deal theft


Two 17-year-olds, who stole £380 and brandished a knife during fake drug deal as part of a spate of offending, have been sentenced in the Royal Court.

Y and Z – who cannot be named for legal reasons due to their age – committed the offences between March and June 2020 and were sentenced to 240 hours of community service and 18 months of youth detention respectively.

A judgment only made public this week explains that they appeared in Royal Court in February facing nine and seven charges respectively, which included larceny, possession of an offensive weapon, drugs importation, breach of the peace, threatening conduct and careless driving.

In June 2020, the pair had arranged to meet a 14-year-old boy who wished to purchase cannabis from them at St. Lawrence football pitch. However, the pair didn’t intend to sell any cannabis and planned on stealing the boy’s money.

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Pictured: The pair never intended to sell drugs to the boy and instead planned on stealing his money.

The boy’s older brother learned of the deal and decided to go to the meeting place so that he could identify who had been supplying drugs to his brother and provide evidence to the police.

When he arrived at the football pitch, Z asked the brother to count out the money while Y was acting as lookout. Once he had counted out around £380, Z snatched the money and took out a kitchen knife, which he later thrusted towards the brother's chest before the pair left the scene on Y’s moped.

Both defendants were charged with larceny and possessing an offensive weapon, on a joint enterprise basis. Z admitted the theft, while Y was convicted following a jury trial, who also convicted the pair of possession of an offensive weapon. 

The Court described the incident as “an extremely serious offence of larceny”, adding the offence shared many features of a “knife-point robbery” even though the money had been handed over before Z took the knife out. 

The Court heard that the pair had also admitted a number of other offences which had taken place in the few months preceding the incident. 

Y had admitted two charges of using threatening and abusive words and behaviour relating to two separate incidents in March 2020, when he had been abusive to staff working at the Tesco supermarket on Broad Street, which he had been banned from entering.

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Pictured: Y had admitted two charges of using threatening and abusive words and behaviour after being abusive to staff working at the Tesco supermarket on Broad Street, which he had been banned from entering.

He also admitted stealing a bottle of Bacardi and a bottle of brandy from the Georgetown-based Iceland store in May 2020. 

Just days after the incident involving the two brothers, Z was involved in a fight with another teenage boy at Havre Des Pas and admitted a breach of the peace. 

Y was also charged with careless driving and other offences, which he admitted, after he had driven his vehicle at speed carelessly through the streets of St. Helier in May 2020, which include going through a red light. At the time, Y was carrying Z as a pillion passenger - something he was not entitled to do as the holder of a provisional driving licence - and which went against a bail condition that prevented him from contact with Z.

Z admitted he had attempted to import 10 tabs of LSD, worth between £200 and £300, which he had ordered from a site on the dark web and which were intercepted by Border Force Officers in Berkshire.

As part of the investigation into that offence, Z was required, under the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Jersey) Law, 2005 to reveal to the police the access codes to his iPhone and his laptop but he “quite unreasonably” refused to do so and pleaded guilty to an offence under that legislation. 

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Pictured: Z refused to give the police access to his iPhone and laptop.

“It is a serious matter to refuse to provide the police details of your access codes when they are investigating this sort of criminal offence,” the Court told him.

On 29 June, the pair stole a bottle of gin from Morrisons in Castle Quay. 

At the time this offending took place, Z was under a nine-month Probation Order which had been imposed by the Magistrate in December 2019, for offences of larceny, malicious damage, possession of cannabis and possession of an offensive weapon. 

He had already breached the order by assaulting a police officer and engaging in disorderly conduct in January 2020.

The Court heard Y had no previous convictions but had received cautions for larceny, refusing to obey a police officer and possessing cannabis at Parish Hall enquiries.

When returning the Court’s sentence, the Deputy Bailiff, Robert MacRae, who was sitting with Jurats Jane Ronge and Dr Gareth Hughes, said the Court had taken into account the two teenagers had “supportive family members” and stayed “out of trouble” since the offences. 

“The Court hopes that both of you have a promising future ahead of you,” he added.

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Pictured: The Deputy Bailiff said a custodial sentence was the only appropriate sentence due to the severity of Z's offences.

He went on to say that Z’s offences were so serious that only a custodial sentence was justified and sentenced him to 18 months’ youth detention, adding he would be under supervision after his release.

He also ordered for the drugs Z had ordered as well as his iPhone and laptop to be destroyed. 

The Deputy Bailiff said that Y had come within a “hair’s breadth” of the same sentence thanks to having no previous convictions and his lesser involvement in the larceny.

"As to the main offence, you were not the prime mover, you never possessed the knife, you did not receive the proceeds of the offence, you did not lie on oath during the trial and we note your voluntary engagement with the services including Probation since last year,” he said.

Y has been sentenced to 240 hours of community service and 18 months of probation. 

Concluding, the Deputy Bailiff added: “We do hope that neither of you ever appear in the Royal Court again.”

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