A teenager has been sent to a young offender institution for 18 months after he robbed a man of a jar of jam at knifepoint.
The victim, Marlon Lee, was walking across Cleckheaton’s Memorial Park to get to the bus station on the evening of August 25 last year when he heard footsteps running towards him.
Denise Breen-Lawton, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court on Friday that Mr Lee saw a dark figure approaching and moved aside to let him by, but the person, Damian Wrigglesworth came straight towards him.
He was about an arm’s length away when he produced a knife and ordered Mr Lee to hand over everything he had got.
He demanded money and when Mr Lee said he did not have any, he handed over the jar of jam, given to him earlier by a colleague at work, and said that was all he had.
Wrigglesworth looked at it and then smashed the jar on the ground before a female approached, who knew him, and persuaded him to go.
She later told police that Wrigglesworth had been with a group in the park and was told by one of the others to do it because the man appeared to have been drinking. She had taken it as a joke, but Wrigglesworth acted.
Miss Breen-Lawton said Mr Lee was now nervous going out and it had caused him other health problems.
Andrew Petterson for Wrigglesworth said it was “unplanned and opportunistic” and with an element of peer pressure.
Although he did not have a good record it was the first time he had been involved in anything so serious. The unemployed labourer had hoped to get more qualifications by going to college.
Wrigglesworth, 18 of Eleventh Avenue, Hightown, admitted robbery and possessing a knife.
Sentencing him Judge Neil Clark said people were entitled to be able to walk streets and paths safely without being threatened and this was a “significant escalation” in his offending.
“Anybody who arms themselves with a weapon in this sort of situation creates a significant risk of somebody suffering serious injury if not intentionally or even killed,” he said.