April 2012

Thugs forced boys to urinate on graves

TWO thugs forced a group of teenage boys to line up and urinate on graves as they robbed them at a community event, a court heard.

Stuart Byrne and Conor Gray humiliated the group of six friends, all aged between 14 and 17, who were attending the Netley Marsh Steam Fair together.

Gray, 19, first stole a £10 note from one of the boys by snatching it out of his hand and then said they would have to fight him if he wanted the money back, Southampton Crown Court was told.

Then as the boys made their way out of the event on July 23 last year they were confronted by the pair again who forced them to go to a nearby churchyard, line up by the graves, empty out their pockets and hand over phones and wallets.

They pulled down one boy’s trousers – telling them all to pray for the safe return of a mobile phone.

Byrne, 19, also attacked one of the boys by kicking his legs so he fell to the ground, kicking him in the face and standing on his throat. He only stopped when his accomplice pulled him away.

The pair were arrested shortly afterwards as security staff at the event had called police.

Byrne was found with a wallet in his sock when he was searched.

Byrne, of Nimrod Drive, Gosport, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft while Gray, of Gosport Street, Lymington, admitted two counts of theft. Both admitted common assault.

The court heard how the pair had claimed one of the group had began pushing them and so they retaliated.

Gray was handed a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work while Byrne was given a 12-month prison term suspended for two years with a supervision requirement.

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