CCTV footage helped police convict man who robbed 10-year-old boy

Philip Palmer captured on CCTV following the youngster on his bike
Philip Palmer captured on CCTV following the youngster on his bike
Alan Brailsford, 73, of Dryden Close, Waterlooville, Hampshire

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This was one of the CCTV images that helped police convict a man who robbed a 10-year-old boy in Gosport.

Cowardly Philip Palmer was jailed for four years after he robbed the vulnerable boy of £9 after tracking him as ‘prey’ in the dark and threatening to stab him.

The lad, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has told how he wakes up in the night crying, stays at home and does not go out to the high street.

The detective in charge of investigating the robbery has welcomed the jail term delivered.

Detective Constable Barbara Hamilton said: ‘It was unthinkable, cowardly, premeditated and it’s something that an adult shouldn’t have to go through, never mind a 10-year-old lad.

‘It’s a very positive outcome, I’m hoping he serves most of that time.’

She said as Palmer, 29, of no fixed address, denied robbery police had to build a strong case against him. That involved sourcing CCTV footage from multiple cameras and putting together a composite which showed how he tracked the boy.

Det Con Hamilton said: ‘This has been a mammoth amount of work to secure the evidence,’ Det Con Hamilton added.

‘He originally didn’t plead guilty, he didn’t get interviewed, it’s been arduous.’

In a statement released after the court hearing, Chief Inspector for Fareham and Gosport James Pegler said Palmer was a prolific offender.

Mr Pegler said: ‘He has had a significant and detrimental impact on many people over the past ten years within the communities of both Gosport and Fareham.

‘As a police service we work in close partnership with other agencies to offer structured support for those people involved in criminality and substance misuse signposting them towards drug treatment, health care, accommodation and employment.

‘Mr Palmer has repeatedly refused to engage with police or partner agencies to help him move away from his lifestyle despite determined and sustained efforts by all concerned.

‘He has been sentenced to two separate periods of custody in 2014 and arrested in that same period on seven occasions.

‘This particular crime was against a child and involved the threat of serious violence for a small financial gain.

‘I hope that the custodial sentence that Mr Palmer has received will allow him to reflect on his way of life and seek to make changes.

‘Failing that, the police officers and staff in Gosport and Fareham will ensure that on his release he will be monitored robustly and returned to prison if he continues to offend.’