Hapless knife-wielding Portsmouth thief stopped in his tracks by dad and daughter – and help from rugby team

HAPLESS career criminal Mark Young gave Portsmouth Crown Court the thumbs-up as he was jailed via video-link for his latest crimes.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 6:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:24 pm
Mark Young Picture: Hampshire Constabulary
Mark Young Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

But the joke was on the knife-wielding 47-year-old as he was locked up for 16 months after a have-a-go-hero and his daughter stopped him dead in his tracks.

Drug-addict Young, who has 286 offences to his name resulting in him ‘spending more time behind bars than out of prison during his adult life’, was eyeing up his next prey on Burnaby Road near Gunwharf Quays in February.

But Young, high on amphetamines at the time, got more than he bargained for as he prepared to ambush a family.

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After parking their car as they prepared to go shopping in the city, they saw Young behaving strangely.

‘They noticed a man loitering on a bike nearby who was talking on the phone while acting suspiciously,’ prosecutor James Kellam told the court.

‘They were so concerned he was up to something they went back to their car and took out all their belongings. The family then got back in their car before the defendant tried to ride off.

‘The driver then accelerated towards him before knocking him off his bike. He was then detained by the male driver and his daughter. They were then assisted by nearby rugby players.’

With Young crumpled on the ground with his face in the dirt, he turned nasty. Mr Kellam said: ‘He started becoming angry and said: “I will slash you, I’ve got a knife”.

‘When he was turned over by police they found he had a Stanley knife.’

After being arrested Young was found to have a small quantity of cannabis on him and two rucksack bags containing items he had stolen from a nearby car.

During police interview, luckless Young claimed he was the victim. ‘The defendant said he was the one who was attacked,’ the prosecutor said.

The court heard about Young’s prolific criminal career had seen convictions for a variety of offences including deception, theft and having a bladed article. His most recent foray into the criminal justice system had seen him jailed for burglary and battery in 2018.

Defending, Howard Barrington-Clark, said: ‘His defence can be summed up in three words – he pleaded guilty.’

He added: ‘The defendant is someone who has spent more time in jail in his adult life than out of prison. He is someone who is addicted to amphetamines and cannot sleep and goes around the streets stealing.’

Young, of Deal Road, Portsmouth, admitted charges of theft, possessing a bladed article and Class B drugs.

Recorder Michael Bowes QC said: ‘Those that detained you deserve great credit. Your record can only be described as appalling.’