Sheffield Crown Court heard on June 10 how Darrell Stott, aged 30, of Farrar Street, Barnsley, stole the boy’s phone as his victim was waiting for a school bus on Doncaster Road, Barnsley.
Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said Stott was with another man who did not rob the youngster but this man revealed the two men had set out to commit crime to buy drugs but he had only intended to commit shoplifting.
Mr Coxon said: “The defendant alone approached the the complainant and said, ‘give me your phone or I will stab you’.
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"The defendant put his hand towards his pocket as if he had a weapon but no weapon was produced or seen. The complainant was scared and thought he would be stabbed.”
Stott grabbed the phone from the complainant’s hand after a short struggle, according to Mr Coxon, and the youngster went to a nearby house to get help.
Mr Coxon added that the house occupant said the boy was crying and heartbroken because he said his mother had bought him the phone as a Christmas present.
Stott, who has previous convictions and was identified from CCTV footage, pleaded guilty to the robbery which happened on March 16, 2021.
Sean Fritchley, defending, said Stott has long-standing drug issues but he never sought to target a youngster.
He added that when Stott saw the phone he just snatched it and he feels ashamed and never wants to put himself in that position again.
Mr Fritchley said: “He tells me it has been a wake-up call – committing this offence. When he has gone into prison the word has spread very quickly and he’s been targeted.”
Recorder Margia Mostafa told Stott: “You said, ‘give me your phone or I will stab you’, to a child of a young age and you put your hand to your pocket and no doubt that child would have been terrified.”
She sentenced Stott to four and a half years of custody.