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Gang yobs apologise for laughing in court; Boys, 15 and 16, involved in street crime wave hauled back into dock.


TWO teenagers who laughed as they were sentenced for their role in a gang behind a 'wave of street crime' across Manchester were dragged back into the dock to apologise.

Two boys - aged 15 and 16 - are the last of a group of 16 youths dubbed the 'Urbis gang' to be sentenced.

After they were both given twoyear detention and training orders, the judge brought them both back before the court to explain themselves.

Both apologised when they spoke to Judge Hilary Manley from the dock.

The 16-year-old said: "I'm sorry, Your Honour for laughing. But I didn't want to cry in front of my dad."

The 15-year-old said: "I just wanted to get my sentence over with. Instead of crying I just laughed it out."

Judge Manley, who said the 16-year-old was 'fortunate' not to escape with more severe punishment, told them: "I accept your apologies and that does bring this matter to an end. I imagine you will go down the stairs quietly now."

This was albeit very Judge " The M.E.N. previously told how the gang, aged between 13 and 16, spent last year's summer holidays roaming in the area around Victoria station and the Urbis building in Manchester city centre committing crime.

Anti-social behaviour often escalated into serious offending, and children became their victims, the youngest being 11. Sentencing at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Manley said the gang 'subjected Manchester to a wave of street crime, robberies and thefts.'.

The judge said the case was 'profoundly disturbing' because of the ages of the defendants, and that 'time after time' those involved were bailed and committed further offences.

The 16 youths have now received detention orders equivalent to more than 13 years after appearing before the courts.

mob violence, out by a youthful mob Manley In a robbery committed more recently away from the city centre, a 12-year-old boy had advertised a chain for sale online and arranged to meet the buyer.

After arriving with two friends, one a 13-year-old girl, he met up with the buyer near Monsall tram stop.

The buyer, another 'Urbis gang' member, then turned robber and pressed a knife against the girl's chest as her two friends ran off.

The 16-year-old boy sentenced in the case was also present with a knife.

They demanded that she hand over her property, telling her to give them 'everything' and taking her phone, money and the chain.

"In an attempt to give them everything, she tried to undo her jacket to show them more, but she was shaking and crying too much," prosecutor Matthew Howarth told the court.

The 16-year-old was said to be laughing throughout the robbery.

The girl was later able to identify the robbers. The 15-year-old boy in the case then sent threatening messages to the girl, telling her to drop the case and saying he might 'leave it' if she did.

Other 'Urbis gang' members also threatened to stab her for being a 'snitch', the court heard.

Mr Howarth said the girl was left in 'genuine fear' due to the gang's 'violent reputation'.

The 16-year-old defendant was sentenced for offences of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery and for threatening with a bladed article, and the 15-year-old defendant was sentenced for two offences of threatening a witness.

Both were also involved in a robbery in the city centre, when a boy was punched and had his bag containing his wallet stolen.

The 15-year-old boy was involved in an attempted robbery at Exchange Square tram stop, when a man was punched and threatened with a knife after offenders demanded his expensive Canada Goose jacket.

Both took part in three offences of robbery in Oldham, where the victims were children aged 13, 14 and 15. The 16-year-old took one of the victims' trainers, and the 15-year-old filmed the incident.

A man was able to escape the gang in Sackville Gardens after they began to kick him and tried to take his bag.

In another incident, one of the gang snatched a mobile phone from a young woman queuing for a concert at The Ritz in the city centre.

Her boyfriend chased after him, but was set upon, suffering whiplash, a broken nose and a fractured rib.

"This was mob violence, albeit carried out by a very youthful mob" the judge said.

Judge Manley sentenced the pair to two-year detention and training orders. They will serve half of the sentence in custody, and the other half training in the community.

GMP launched a crackdown on the gang through Operation Valiant, with 114 charges being brought.

This was mob violence, albeit carried out by a very youthful mob Judge Hilary Manley


Members of the 'Urbis gang'
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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:May 26, 2019
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