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Cold sore helps to capture robber, aged 13.

Byline: By LIZ KEEN South Wales Echo

A 13-year-old schoolboy who robbed and intimidated his victims was identified by a cold sore on his face. The teenager was with a gang who terrified two girls in a subway in St Mellons, Cardiff.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the victims - both aged 15 - were held down by a gang of boys while the 13-year-old and his 16-year-old friend searched them during the attack in April.

'Two mobile phones were taken,' Ieuan Rees, prosecuting, told the court.

'This defendant was one of the ringleaders. The girls were walking from Tesco when they were pushed to the ground and held there.'

Three weeks later one of the girls - this time alone - was in the same area when the 13-year-old came along on his bike.

'He confronted her, was aggressive and abusive, swore at her and said, 'I'm going to get you',' Mr Rees said. 'He left her terrified.'

The court heard the boy had previously been given a referral order for stealing a bike when he was 12.

He was later put on three years supervision for robbery and burglary, then sentenced to an attendance centre order for assault and witness intimidation.

Earlier this month at Cardiff Youth Court he was given four months' detention and training for criminal damage and a public order breach.

Steve Clarke, defending, said: 'Many right- minded people would say 'just lock him up' but while he has been in detention one worker has got through to him and provides a positive report.'

Judge Neil Bidder QC told the boy, who cannot be named because of his age, that he had been intending to lock him up for 18 months.

He reduced it to 12 months because of the report and the family support the boy was receiving.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 12, 2004
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