Thieves jailed after ‘frightening’ attack in Huntingdon

Jamie Lines.

Jamie Lines. - Credit: Archant

Two robbers who attacked a young man with a chain in a Huntingdon underpass have been jailed.

Levi Smith.

Levi Smith. - Credit: Archant

Samuel Sweek had been to a pub after a belated Christmas meal on January 30 and decided to walk home at about 1.30am the following day. He approached an underpass and saw two men, who walked by.

He was then grabbed from behind and held to the ground by Levi Smith, who was identified by the victim as Smith went to school with his brother.

The second attacker, Jamie Lines, then struck Mr Sweek’s head with a dog chain twice.

Smith, 20, of Park View, Great Stukeley, and Lines, 19, of Spring Close, Huntingdon, demanded the victim hand over his possessions, which included his bank card.

They asked Mr Sweek for his PIN, and Smith threatened to kill him if he didn’t tell the truth.

Mr Sweek gave an incorrect number and Smith went to a nearby cashpoint to withdraw money while Lines kept Mr Sweek on the ground, Peterborough Crown Court heard last Wednesday (March 25). Lines told Mr Sweek: “I have to do this. I need the money.”

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When Smith returned, the pair took Mr Sweek to the cashpoint and forced him to check his balance before withdrawing £215, leaving Mr Sweek with £4 left in his account.

Mr Sweek was then struck again and was told by Smith: “If you tell anyone or the police, we will kill you. We know where you live.”

The victim, whose phone and jacket were stolen, managed to get to a nearby house to get help.

When officers attended Smith’s home later on January 31, he wasn’t there, but handed himself in later.

At the same court on February 9, both men pleaded guilty to robbery.

Nicola Devas, prosecuting, said Mr Sweek suffered a bump on the back and front of his head, as well as a 1cm cut on the front of his head. She added: “There are many aggravating features including it was group offending, there was a weapon involved and used, where it happened in the underpass it was dark and makes this victim vulnerable.”

The court heard that Lines had the dog chain with him, but he didn’t carry it on him intending to use it in an attack.

Katya Saudek, representing Lines who has six convictions for 10 offences including shoplifting, said her client had not been in trouble for two years.

“He is extremely sorry for what he has done.” Ms Saudek told the court. “He had a daughter at the age of 17 and didn’t run from the responsibility. He cares for his daughter.

“He feels absolutely gutted about the attack. It has destroyed his life and that of his future.

“He had a job lined up at the time but has now lost that, all for a moment of complete madness and something out of character.”

Lines, who had been drinking before the attack, had to be taken to hospital after he was arrested as it was feared the drinking had affected his kidneys.

The court heard that Smith, who was out on licence at the time of the attack after he was jailed for 29 months in May 2013 for burglary, would miss the imminent birth of his first child due to being in jail.

“He is devastated to miss the birth of his child, who is due in the next week,” said Roxanne Aisthorpe, mitigating for Smith, who has 12 convictions for 18 offences.

“He will also miss their first Christmas and their first birthday. He fully accepts it’s his own doing. It has cost him the early stages of his child’s life.”

Judge Sean Enright found Lines and Smith equally culpable for the robbery, which was a “very frightening experience” for the victim. He jailed Lines for 16 months and Smith for two years in a young offenders’ institute.