Sheffield robber wins cut in prison term

Thomas Alexander Weaver
Thomas Alexander Weaver
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A thug jailed for targeting university students in Sheffield in two street robberies has had his prison sentence cut on appeal.

Thomas Weaver, aged 19, of no fixed address, was handed two years’ detention in a young offenders’ institution – on top of a 20-month sentence he was already serving – after he admitted three counts of robbery at Sheffield Crown Court in February.

However, judges at London’s Court of Appeal upheld a sentence challenge by Weaver, accepting his overall punishment was too harsh – reducing it from a total of three years and eight months to three years.

He will serve half and be released on licence, where he could be recalled to serve the remainder of his sentence if he breaches the conditions of his release.

Judge Sir Roderick Evans said the student robberies took place in the early hours of December 15.

Weaver approached two students on their way home and demanded they hand over drugs he was convinced they were carrying.

He said: “The students replied that they did not have any, but Weaver insisted they did and accused them of lying.

He demanded they turn out their pockets.

The pair only had mobile phones and, when one refused to hand his over, Weaver told him: “Give me your mobile phone or I will drop you”.

Weaver later sold the phones for up to £200 each.

At about 4.30am the same morning, he approached another student and threatened to stab him in the street, if he did not hand over his money.

His victim escaped unharmed after running away.

At the time of the offences, Weaver was on licence, having been given a community order in February 2012 for possessing an offensive weapon – a screwdriver – in public and battery.

In January this year, he also admitted attempted robbery and was handed a separate 20-month sentence.

He was serving that term when his two-year consecutive term was imposed for the student robberies.

Sir Roderick said Weaver had a ‘bad record,’ pointing out that he was first before the courts when he was just 12 years old.