A father who robbed two terrified teenage girls on their way to school blamed it on his young son being diagnosed with a heart murmur.Not even that he’d just had that terrible news and had a minor breakdown, mind you:
Tim Noble turned to drink, drugs and a criminal lifestyle after his child had three open heart surgeries in the last two years, Bristol Crown Court heard.And I’d love to know why his partner isn’t in the dock as an accomplice:
The court heard he was being driven to Asda by his partner to buy a bottle of vodka at around 8am on September 9 when he saw two girls he knew walking to school.He proved quite a chatty sort of mugger, too:
His partner stopped the car and then Noble demanded the 14-year-olds' phones and cigarettes.
"I feel like a ***** but these things have to be done," he told them, before adding, "I take it this is the first time you've been robbed?"It’s only a wonder he didn’t ask them to complete a satisfaction survey…
Darren Burleigh, defending, described Noble's behaviour as "stupid and ridiculous".Oooh, that’s novel!
He said: "He is ashamed, as he should be.
"He doesn't seek to minimise what he has done."
And also wrong, as – no doubt without even pausing for breath – the mitigation followed:
"He had consumed a significant amount of alcohol and substances the evening before and through the night.For once, the judge wasn’t buying it:
"There was an argument with his partner about money.
"It is out of character. There was no weapon, no actual use of violence.
"He let their minds run wild with what he would do if they had not submitted to his commands. "
Judge David Ticehurst said the defendant "deliberately targeted school girls because they were vulnerable".Heh! Nice one, your honour.
He said: "He was not so befuddled by alcohol that he targeted a large man or a rugby player so he was clearly thinking that clearly."
"In your statement to me you said 'I'm always a really friendly, nice, outgoing person'. Not to these girls you weren't.He handed down a sentence of two years. But we all know it’s going to be less…
"You said 'I'm a great dad'. Your son needs your support, not someone who takes drugs."