Teen who car-jacked Good Samaritan who stopped to offer a lift in the snow has jail term cut

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A SHEFFIELD teenager jailed for car-jacking a Good Samaritan who stopped to give him a lift in last year’s bad snow has had his sentence reduced.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was one of three men who robbed Steven Craig Russell, when he gave the trio a lift in Sheffield last January.

He was sentenced to four years’ detention at the city’s crown court after pleading guilty to robbery, but the sentence was reduced to two years at the Court of Appeal.

Lord Justice Jackson said the sentence was too long, but rejected an appeal by one of the youth’s accomplices, Danny Irons, 22, against his three-and-a-half year term for robbery and handling stolen goods.

The pair and a third young man were driving around Sheffield in a stolen Vauxhall Vectra when the car became stuck in snow.

They turned to Mr Russell for help. After failing to pull the car out, he offered them a lift back to Rutland Road, Burngreave.

When they arrived, one of the pals got out of the car and tried to grab the keys from Mr Russell. They threatened that he would be shot. A metal pole was brandished.

The threesome drove off in his BMW, which was later found abandoned.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty on the basis that he had not expected a robbery when he got into the car.

He said he only became aware of what was happening when one of his pals tried to take the car keys from Mr Russell but he picked up a metal pole and waved it.

Irons, of West View Lane, Totley, said he aided and abetted the robbery but had not expected it.

He said he did not use or threaten violence and had merely gone along with what the others were doing.

Rejecting Irons’ appeal, Lord Justice Jackson said the sentence was a fair one.

He added: “This was, of course, an extremely unpleasant robbery, committed against a man who was acting in a spirit of generosity to help three young people seemingly stuck in the snow. We take a very unfavourable view of the offence.

“We note the 17-year-old is a young man who has promise and who has put his time in prison to good use. We hope he will take advantage of what he has learned in detention and also of the academic achievements he had before he went into detention.

“Bearing in mind the mitigating features in his case, we consider the proper sentence for the youth was a term of two years’ detention.”

His appeal was rejected.