THREE teenage boys have been locked up for a decade after using a BB gun to rob a man of £1.50 and a few cigarettes.
Christopher Keith was taking a shortcut through The Gillies in Fareham to get to the train station when he was approached by three masked teenagers who demanded money from him.
One of the trio – Branden Allison, Robert Watson and Derry Bisson – shouted: ‘If you don’t give me your money now I will shoot you’ before pulling the top of the toy gun back with a clicking sound so the victim feared he was going to be shot.
The terrified victim, who told police he thought it was a BB gun, handed over £1.50 in loose change, 20 Carlton and two Rothmans cigarettes before fleeing.
He managed to find a police officer who called for back-up and the trio were found – the toy M41 gun was discovered discarded under the footbridge.
Now all three have been handed detention orders totalling 10 years for the February 2 robbery, which happened just after 8pm.
All three of you were out of control, you weer using drugs and committing offences to fund that particular lifestyle, which was of your own choosingRecorder Donald Tait
Sentencing, Recorder Donald Tait said: ‘All three of you were out of control, you were using drugs and committing offences to fund that particular lifestyle, which was of your own choosing.’
He handed Watson and Allison, who had pleaded not guilty and went to trial, four-year detention orders and gave Bisson a 32-month detention order.
Addressing the trio he said: ‘This was a very serious offence. Only you, Bisson, had the guts to plead guilty.
‘The other two of you were convicted on overwhelming evidence.’
He added: ‘I have no doubt that the offence was pre-planned, not planned to rob Mr Keith but it’s quite clear from phone traffic around about this time that certainly you Watson and you Bisson were contacting each other talking about committing offences of robbery.
‘Two of you at least had your faces covered, a weapon was used and produced. I make no finding as to who physically had it – you are all three responsible for what took place.’
When police looked at Bisson’s phone it showed he had sent messages saying he was going ‘robbing with his boys’. His phone also had a photo of Watson holding the toy BB gun with his face masked.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard the trio had been in Eastleigh earlier in the day and were in Fareham to take drugs.
Allison said he turned up after the robbery. Watson said he was there but Allison had done everything.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Mark Brockman said: ‘The length of the sentences passed reflect the seriousness of the offence, and the effect it has had on Mr Keith.
‘These young men clearly had not thought about the consequences of their actions and will now have the opportunity to reflect on this whilst in custody.
‘Hopefully this will act as a deterrent for others considering similar actions in order to obtain money to buy drugs.’
Anthony Bailey, defending dad-of-one Watson, said the 17-year-old, of Victoria Road North, Southsea, had been kicked out by his parents and had been homeless.
He added if it had not been for his use of heroin and crack cocaine then he would not have committed the offence.
Robert Pawson, defending Allison, said the toy gun was not capable of causing injury and that Allison was himself vulnerable.
Keely Harvey, defending Bisson, said he had made a ‘complete about-turn’ in his behaviour and immaturity.
Allison, 17, of Clarendon Road, Shirley, and Bisson, 17, of Queen’s Road, Waterlooville, were both 16 at the time of the robbery.