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Angry judge lost for words.

A CROWN court judge forced prosecutors to increase the charges against a suspected mugger from Coventry.

Simon Cleave, aged 22, of Chace Avenue, Willenhall, was originally charged with theft in connection with the mugging of a 65-year-old woman in November.

But Judge Peter Ross said Cleave, who has previous convictions for violence, should face a more serious robbery charge because the victim was shoved in the back before her purse was stolen.

The judge expressed his "amazement" that Cleave was not charged with robbery in the first place, and added: "It's rare that I struggle for words."

Cleave, who was on licence from prison at the time of the mugging, was sent back to jail following his arrest, but the judge said a theft conviction would not have added any time to the remainder of the sentence.

"If I sentence this defendant on a charge of theft, I cannot pass a consecutive sentence," said the judge. The sentence will be such, that it will, in effect, add nothing to the sentence.

"But here is a defendant who, if convicted of robbery, would be liable for consideration under dangerousness provisions."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 22, 2010
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