Autistic deaf man held up at knife-point in string of Portsmouth robberies

A ROBBER who held up a terrified deaf autistic man at knife-point and two others then drunkenly crashed a car as he tried to escape.

Saturday, 25th March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 25th March 2017, 11:54 am
Police photo of Ryan Brown, 21, of Fourth Street, Fratton

Ryan Brown has been jailed for five years after robbing three men and crashing a taxi in just 95 minutes.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the 21-year-old had taken a knife out overnight between 11.15pm on November 19 to 12.50am the next day.

His 28-year-old autistic victim was walking home from the deaf club in Buckland when he was grabbed from behind and forced to against a garden, with Brown holding a three-inch blade against his chest and neck.

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Prosecutor Martyn Booth said: ‘He describes the “bad man” waving the knife towards his left side of the chest, touching him with the knife but not very hard.’

Judge Robert Pawson revealed the victim said ‘he didn’t want to die’, telling a shamed Brown: ‘Imagine how he felt.’

Brown was shouting at the victim in Arundel Street after he handed over £40.

Just minutes later Brown jogged over to a 19-year-old man asking for a light, before putting his arm across the victim and demanding he hand over what he had.

Brown again pulled the knife out, taking the man’s iPhone 5s and chased the victim in Fratton Road, leaving him terrified and crying.

Then five minutes later Brown held up a 33-year-old taxi driver in Fratton Road, before getting into his Nissan, turning into Hanway Road and crashing into a wall outside a GP surgery.

Chelsea Hales, who has an IQ of 71 and was with Brown admitted handling stolen goods and theft after taking a phone from the taxi.

A test revealed he had 78mg of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, double the 35mg limit.

Brown, 21, of Fourth Street, Fratton, has 28 previous court appearances for 43 offences.

Judge Pawson handed Hales, 18, also of Fourth Street, received a 12-month community order with 25 days of rehabilitation activities.

Brown admitted three robberies, drink-driving and having a bladed article.