Pregnant robber and male partner who hospitalised child in street ambush avoid jail

A PREGNANT robber and her male partner who ambushed a child in the street avoided jail after a judge ‘stuck his neck out’.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 7:00 am

Cowardly Rosie Christopher, 20, and Martin Mcanulty, 21, grabbed an unsuspecting 14-year-old boy before stealing his phone and leaving him with a swollen face and needing hospital treatment following the incident on February 26, 2020.

The pair had denied the offence during a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court but were found guilty by a jury - but continued to deny any wrongdoing.

Despite the lack of remorse, though, recorder Robin Sellers decided he could suspend the sentence despite admitting it was a ‘struggle’ to avoid giving the defendants an immediate custodial term during his summing-up.

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But with Christopher, of Wodehouse Way, Emsworth, due to give birth in June, the recorder admitted a jail term would have a ‘devastating’ impact on the baby.

Speaking of the robbery on Stanhope Road, Littlehampton, the recorder said: ‘The boy had to go to hospital after the robbery. He was only 14 at the time of the offence. There were two of you.

‘It’s unclear what you were up to. You don’t accept it but you were found guilty by a jury so you have to.

‘Anything other than an immediate custodial sentence must be a term of two years or lower - and frankly it’s a struggle.

‘There were two of you doing this to a child which aggravates the matter.’

The recorder went on to say it was ‘tragic’ how both defendants had blighted their lives by their actions.

‘You’ve probably prevented yourself from having the career you want to be in. It’s a tragedy to you and to people who you could help,’ he told Christopher over her career aspirations she previously had.

Recorder Sellers said he was ‘moved’ by Mcanulty’s dad’s letter he had received when considering mitigating factors.

‘It’s one of the saddest things to read letters from parents who no doubt never thought they would have to write a letter to a judge to keep their son or daughter out of jail,’ he said.

The recorder said he had ‘thought long and hard’ on whether he could suspend the sentence with both on the ‘cusp of a massive life event’.

After deciding he could suspend the sentence, recorder Sellers added: ‘I’m sticking my neck out.’

Christopher and Mcanulty, of Wilton Avenue, Southampton, were both given a two-year jail term suspended for two years after both being convicted of a single count of robbery.

Mcanulty was told to complete 30 rehabilitation days and complete 150 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months while Christopher was given a three month curfew order from 9pm - 7am.

They will also each have to pay a £149 victim surcharge.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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