'Bored' gang attacked men

A GANG of youths who attacked two men on an Ipswich park were bored and had nothing else to do, a court heard.Benjamin Jarrett, 19, of Hogarth Square was the ring leader of the group of five who threatened the men in their 20's on Murrayside Recreation ground.

A GANG of youths who attacked two men on an Ipswich park were bored and had nothing else to do, a court heard.

Benjamin Jarrett, 19, of Hogarth Square was the ring leader of the group of five who threatened the men in their 20's on Murrayside Recreation ground.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Robert Fuge, 24 and his friend Ian Martin, had been playing basketball when the youths arrived and locked the gates imprisoning the men in the sports court.

Mark Norman, prosecuting said the gang, which also included 18-year-old Michael Harrison of Kingsway, a 15-year-old boy from Grove Lane, a 15-year-old boy from Freethorpe, Norfolk, and a 17-year-old from Campbell Road, took an interest in Mr Fuge's £1,400 mountain bike before issuing threats.

Mr Norman said: "The group became threatening and menacing and teased the victim Mr Fuge."

One of the gang members threatened to follow him home and burgle him while another threatened Mr Martin with violence.

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Mr Norman said: "Mr Fuge got on his bike and tried to escape through another gate but this was also locked.

"Benjamin Jarrett swirled a bicycle chain at Mr Fuge's head a number of times forcing him to duck.

"The complainant was pulled off the bike by one of the group, his shirt was ripped and he grazed his back and elbow."

Eventually Jarrett raced off on Mr Fuge's bike and the two victims contacted the police.

The court heard that police pursued Jarrett and Harrison using a police helicopter and finally arrested them at Foxhall Stadium.

The other three defendants were arrested at Harrisons' address.

The court heard that all the defendants apart from the 17-year-old girl had previous criminal convictions.

Jarrett pleaded guilty to robbery. Harrison and the two 15-year-old's pleaded guilty to affray and the girl pleaded guilty to a public order offence.

Judge John Devaux said: "On the afternoon of the bank holiday last August, two people were playing basketball when your pitiful little gang descended on them.

"You became threatening and menacing and violence occurred. You were bored and had nothing to do. Mr Fuge suffered minor injuries and his bike was badly damaged.

"This was a joint enterprise. There were five of you and two of them."

Jarrett was sentenced to 15 months in a Young Offenders Institute, Harrison was jailed for 10 months, the two 15-year-olds were sentenced to four months detention and training and the girl, who is expecting a baby in May was put on a 12-month supervision order.

No award was made for compensation or court costs.

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