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Crook who robbed teenage college student in Workington is jailed for four years

Barrie Lee

A MAN who robbed a teenager just days after trying to rob a female shop assistant has been jailed for four years.

Barrie Lee approached the 16-year-old college student at Workington bus station as he was waiting to go home on the afternoon of February 5, and demanded: “Give me your money or I will stab you in the neck.”

The petrified teen handed over £15 he had been saving to 32-year-old Lee, who then put his arm around his victim and said he was “sorry”.

In an impact statement read to Carlisle Crown Court today (TUES), the teen told the incident had “totally freaked me out”, and that he “genuinely felt” he would have been knifed if he hadn’t done as he was told. “The incident has shaken me deeply,” he said. “You hear about violence on the news, especially knife crime. I did not expect it in my home town, where I always felt safe.”

Just 10 days earlier, Lee had gone into Greggs in Whitehaven, demanding money from a female worker and telling her: “I’ve got a gun.” Noting he appeared agitated, she handed him a slice of pizza and told him to go home, but was left in tears, “shaken and scared”.

Lee was drunk on both occasions and had concealed hands in his pockets during the incidents, but had not been armed. He admitted robbery, attempted robbery and a string of shop thefts.

The court heard of Lee’s previous convictions but also of his personality disorder and depression. But his lawyer, Clare Thomas, stated: “He said in his own words his behaviour was despicable.”

Judge Peter Davies imposed a four-year prison sentence, telling Lee, of Trinity Court, Northside, Workington: “That’s a lenient sentence in some ways, because I recognise the mental health problems you evidently have.”

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