A 12-YEAR-OLD boy suffered psychological damage after he was mugged for his mobile phone on Halloween night by two men in zombie make-up.
The youngster had been trick or treating with friends in Armitage Bridge last year when he was surrounded by three men alongside St Paul’s graveyard.
Each had his face painted white with black circles round their eyes and fake blood round their mouths.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that the men were wearing hooded tops and the third who was not involved in the robbery was carrying a plastic scythe.
The boy had just received a call from his mother when one of the men demanded the phone.
Prosecutor Paul Nicholson described how the youngster was kneed in the leg by one attacker while the other punched him in the mouth causing it to bleed.
The terrified boy handed over his phone and Mr Nicholson said the men left with one of them saying either “trick or treat” or “happy Halloween.”
The court heard that 18-year-old Scott Asquith and 22-year-old Simon O’Malley then continued on to a Halloween party where they told one of the guests that they had just robbed a lad. Both have now been jailed.
Mr Nicholson said CCTV footage was used to identify the attackers and when O’Malley was arrested he admitted the robbery, claiming that Asquith was the prime mover.
O’Malley said the phone had been exchanged for cocaine, but he helped the police to recover it.
In a victim statement on behalf of the young boy, it stated that the boy was now wary of strangers and crowded situations and that some of school grades had gone down.
“I’ve started swearing and I think this is a result of the people swearing at me,” the boy stated.
“I’m a more nervous person as a result.”
The court heard details of Asquith’s lengthy record for previous convictions which included other street muggings involving mobile phones and breaches of an anti-social behaviour order.
In a letter handed to Recorder Peter Pimm, Asquith, of Holme Park Court, Berry Brow, Huddersfield, expressed remorse for the incident and described himself as a bully.
His barrister Clare Larton said he now wanted to put his turbulent past behind him and was planning to move away from his peers and associates to settle down with his girlfriend.
“His attitude does appear to be changing,” she submitted.
O’Malley, of Bishop’s Court, Berry Brow, had only limited previous convictions, but his barrister Stephen Wood conceded a custodial sentence was inevitable.Both defendants pleaded guilty to the robbery charge. Recorder Pimm locked up Asquith for 18 months and O’Malley for a year.
He described the attack as “cowardly and horrible” and noted that the victim appeared to have been permanently damaged by the experience.