Heroin addict mugger is jailed

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court

A drug addict who mugged two teenaged boys and a man in three separate robberies within days of each other has been jailed for 18 months.

A court heard that in the incidents Anthony Haslam was engaged in were categorised as “aggressive begging”.

Sentencing the 22-year-old, Judge Anil Murray pointed out that it would be his first custodial sentence.

But he warned that if he kept on with such dishonest behaviour that “the sentences will get longer and longer.”

Henry Riding, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that on December 31 last year a 15-year-old boy and two friends were by Leigh bus station when Haslam approached them.

He repeatedly asked if they had any spare change and, fearful of how he would react if they refused, they handed over a total of £12.50.

He asked for more, and when one of the boys opened his wallet Haslam spotted a £20 note and snatched it before making off.

The next day a 13-year-old boy was in the same area of Leigh and became apprehensive when he saw Haslam approaching.

The hearing was told that, while Haslam was not aggressive, he was demanding and when the boy said he did not have any money Haslam suggested that he went to a cash point.

The teenager pointed out that he was too young to have a bank card but Haslam then saw he had a £20 games card in his pocket so he demanded that he hand over that instead.

Haslam went off to the nearby Tesco’s store in a futile attempt to cash the games card in and meanwhile the victim went home.

He told his father about what had happened who went straight round to the store and became involved in a short scuffle with Haslam.

Security staff intervened and Haslam managed to wriggle out of his coat and escape.

But his DNA was on the coat and Haslam was tracked down and was later arrested, said Mr Riding.

But meanwhile Haslam had approached a man at Piccadilly railway station in Manchester saying he was homeless and wanted some change.

The man was fearful and went to a cash machine and withdrew £10 for him.

Haslam demanded more money and the victim had to withdraw an extra £20 which Haslam snatched off him.

But he was captured on CCTV footage and arrested.

Haslam, of Bag Lane, Atherton, who has previous convictions including theft and harassment, pleaded guilty to three robberies.

Geoffrey Lowe, defending, said that Haslam has a chronic heroin habit and wanted money to feed his addiction.