A DRUNK teenager who tried to rob a man of 40p and a £10 note ended up throwing a beer bottle at his victim.

Burnley Crown Court heard how 18-year-old George Wray, pictured, knew victim Phillip Whittaker and had seen him in a pub earlier on in the night of the attack.

Prosecuting, Graeme Parkinson said the pair came across each other in Smirthwaite Street, Burnley, at around 10pm on July 14.

Mr Parkinson said: “Mr Whittaker noticed the defendant standing on the street corner. He was on his own but drinking from a bottle of beer. 

“The defendant asked whether or not he had any change on him. In fear something might happen, Mr Whittaker reached into his pocket to retrieve some change. Doing so a £10 note came out of his pocket. It was his intention at that point to give the defendant 40p in change. Having seen the £10 note the defendant demanded it.”

The court heard how Wray, of Scott Park Road, Burnley, lifted the beer bottle over his head and told his victim: “I am going to smash this over your head.”

Mr Whittaker then pushed the defendant back in self-defence and then both men grappled to the ground. During that altercation Mr Whittaker lost his glasses but he did manage to get up and run off.

But he was chased by Wray who waited until he got within two to three metres of Mr Whittaker before throwing the bottle at him. The bottle hit the victim on the side of the face, although he did not suffer any permanent injuries as a result.

Wray then ran from the scene and was arrested in a nearby pub. 
In a victim personal statement Mr Whittaker spoke how the incident had affected him in his job and he had a fear of walking alone.

Wray pleaded guilty to robbery. But the court heard how the incident came just three days after he was given a four-month conditional discharge for using threatening words and behaviour.

Defending, Mark Stuart said at the time of the incident his client was suffering with family difficulties and had stopped taking his ADHD medication. Instead he used alcohol as a coping mechanism and became very difficult for his family to live with.

Mr Stuart said: “He had gone up the road to borrow some money from his friend. His friend wasn’t in. He saw Mr Whittaker, who he knew, walking passed him. It’s a very unpleasant incident from Mr Whittaker’s point of view. There was no planning to this. It starts off with him asking for a bit of change which would probably afford him his next pint. Instead it gets out of hand and instead he commits a robbery which is completely out of his league.”

Sending Wray to a young offender’s institution for 27 months, Judge Beverley Lunt said: “This was a nasty incident. It was on the street. It was night-time. The victim is on the street acting lawfully and you threatened him with a bottle. You threw the bottle at his head and it hit him. You’re lucky there were no serious injuries caused to this man.”