Prison for pair behind iPhones robbery spree

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TWO robbers have been jailed for a crime spree in which people were targeted in Leeds city centre for their iPhones.

Leon Minott, 22, and Benjamin Browne, 21, told one victim they would smash his teeth in unless he handed over valuables.

After his arrested Minott told a probation officer he had committed the offences “for fun”.

Leeds Crown court heard the pair targeted a 23 year-old man as he walked along Vicar Lane at 6pm on December 9, last year. Minott asked the man for the time before grabbing him and demanding his phone.

The man tried to run away but Browne was stood behind him. Minott told him they would smash his face in unless he gave it to them. The pair struck twice the following day, targeting a 23-year-old man on the Headrow before robbing a 19-year-old near the railway station.

Andrew Dallas, for Minott, said the offences were out of character and he could not really explain why he had committed them. He said: “He is a young man who has been sat in prison for months, who can’t understand why he went off the rails for the last three or four months of last year.

“It is offending he has just drifted into and only now has he grasped the seriousness of it. He does come over as a mild mannered sheepish young man.”

Tom Rushbrooke, for Browne, said his client had pleaded guilty to the offences at the earliest opportunity.

Jailing them, judge Christopher Batty said: “iPhones were your currency.”

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