Masked street robbers jailed for 11 years after targeting a man in Darnall, Sheffield

Two masked street robbers have been put behind bars after they targeted a terrified man in broad daylight.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 4:12 pm

Sheffield Crown Court heard on October 20 how Keon Roberts, aged 32, and Andrew Mason, aged 26, accosted the man as he was walking along a footbridge near Acres Hill Road, in Darnall, Sheffield.

Hannah Walker, prosecuting, said the victim was targeted by the balaclava-clad robbers about 2pm, on February 3, and he was pushed by Roberts and punched.

Recorder Bryan Cox QC told the defendants: “You did cause him some injuries and he was plainly terrified by this persistent attack upon him.”

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Keon Roberts (l) and Andrew Mason (r) have been jailed for five-and-a-half years each after robbing a man in the street in Darnall, Sheffield

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Ms Walker added that while the assault was taking place Mason searched the victim’s pockets and took an iPhone, a watch and a packet of cigarettes.

Roberts, who has previous convictions, of High Hazels Close, Handsworth, Sheffield, and Mason, who also has previous convictions, of Margate Drive, near Grimesthorpe, Sheffield, both pleaded guilty to the robbery.

Recorder Cox said he understood the defendants had a knife in their possession but he accepted it had not been used or deployed during the robbery.

Sean Fritchley, defending, said Mason had been affected by his time as a soldier with a Scottish regiment and his offending began after he left the Army and started using alcohol and drugs to cope.

Mason has accessed education while he has been remanded in prison, according to Mr Fritchley, and he has expressed remorse and is receiving support from a veterans’ association.

Mr Fritchley said: “He has taken steps to sort himself out in prison and he knows if he does not, his life will revolve around offences and returning to prison.”

Dale Harris, defending, said there is no suggestion Roberts was in possession of a knife or that he was aware Mason may have had a knife.

He added: “It was an act of stupidity on his part for very little gain in the grand scheme of things and he risked his liberty in terms of years for the sake of an iPhone worth a few hundred pounds.”

Mr Harris said Roberts had, like Mason, come down to England but he intends to return to Scotand.

Recorder Cox sentenced Mason and Roberts to five-and-a-half years of custody each.