Gang robbed man as he walked home from night out at Guildhall Walk

Flurry of suspected fraudsters targeting residents in Gosport

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A GANG followed a man in a pack, knocked him to the ground and rifled through his pockets in what a judge described as a ‘dreadful’ robbery.

The group’s leader Corbin Ward, who at 21 already has a string of convictions for violent offences, has been jailed for three years.

His two accomplices, 16-year-olds Jack Andrews and Stanley Hutton, both of All Saints Street, Landport, were given eight months in a young offenders’ institute and a 12-month referral order respectively.

The two teenagers can only now be named after a judge at Portsmouth Crown Court agreed to lift an order banning their identity following a request from The News.

The three targeted Thomas Bird as he walked home after a night out in Guildhall Walk.

The 20-year-old realised he was being followed and tried to get away but they caught up with him in Kingston Road, Buckland.

Ward, of Edinburgh Road, Landport, punched him to the ground and Andrews held him down while they searched him as Hutton kept look-out.

Sentencing them Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘When a man was walking home the three of you, like a pack effectively, followed him.

‘You crossed the road to do so and around the subway attacked him, forced him to the ground with a punch.

‘One of you held him down, the other kept look-out and he was relieved of his wallet and his mobile telephone.

‘This was a dreadful robbery, which understandably will have left that man apprehensive and shaken himself but also have a ripple effect on other people in the community who would wonder whether or not it is safe to walk back late at night.’

He said Ward, who was drunk and high on cocaine, was undoubtedly the leader of the group.

The three pleaded guilty to robbery following the attack on December 23.

Ward asked for another robbery on a man walking home and an attempted bag snatch on a woman, both from 2010, to be taken into consideration by the judge.

Roderick James, defending, said: ‘It appears to have been an opportunistic offence. The three of them were not out with some planned intention of robbing people late at night.’