A man who robbed and left his victims unconscious has today been jailed.
Mason Shaw, 21, of Sharples Hall Street, Oldham pleaded guilty to six counts of robbery and one count of theft from a person at an earlier hearing.
Today, Wednesday 23 August 2017, he was sentenced to 8 years and 9 months in prison with an extended licence of 4 years and 3 months at Manchester Crown Court.
Shaw has also been given a lifetime Criminal Behavioural Order, preventing him from entering Manchester’s gay village.
In September 2016, police received their first report that Shaw had robbed a man in Oldham.
Between this incident in September and 10 December 2016, Shaw has committed a further six robberies, targeting people predominately around Manchester’s gay village.
The court heard how Shaw would seek out people from this area, isolating them from the crowd, before strangling them until they lost consciousness.
At this point he would rob them before leaving his victims to come around.
Detective Constable Jonathan Barnett of GMP’s City of Manchester borough, said: “Shaw has committed a number of robberies, clearly targeting members of the gay community, brutally taking their possessions from them.
“I cannot imagine what Shaw’s victims must have gone through, being robbed and abandoned in such a terrifying way.
“Given the nature of these robberies, I am grateful that we’ve been able to secure such a long sentence for his heinous crimes.
“Today’s result hopefully goes some way to reinforce that violent crime, of any kind, will not be tolerated in Greater Manchester.”
Martin Hill for the CPS said: “Mason Shaw carried out a serious of extremely violent offences against lone males in order to steal their money and personal belongings.
“We worked closely with the police to piece together the evidence and build a strong case; this included CCTV and DNA evidence which proved that he had committed offences against one victim. We then linked together each of the robberies as he had used the same method of attempting to incapacitate six of the seven victims. He approached and befriended each of them after they had enjoyed nights out; he then strangled them before rifling through their pockets for items to steal. The evidence against him was so strong he was left with no other option than to plead guilty to the offences he faced.
“The CPS treated this case as a homophobic hate crime from the outset. We considered carefully whether we could establish that the offences were motivated, wholly or partly, by hostility based on the victims’ sexuality or presumed sexuality, particularly given that several offences occurred in the Gay Village. We therefore asked the court to consider a sentencing uplift; the court concluded that they were satisfied that he deliberately targeted gay men within the LGBT community due to their perceived vulnerability but they not consider the offences were based on hostility based on sexual orientation.”