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Drug addict robbed ten-year-old boy
A LOUT high on a cocktail of drugs who stalked a ten-year-old boy and mugged him in the street was jailed for almost two years.
Mark Duffie, 28, followed the youngster from a Stockton take-away at night and warned him: "There's some nut-cases live here."
Teesside Crown Court heard today (Monday, March 11) how the boy laughed nervously and carried on walking to his home on November 7 last year.
As he approached the house, Duffie shouted "hey kid" and kicked him in the shin before snatching his Samsung Galaxy phone.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Judge Peter Bowers that the lad told his family what had happened and they called the police.
Officers scoured closed circuit television cameras from the area and recognised Duffie - who has 81 offences on his record.
In interview, he said he could not even remember being out that night because he had taken heroin, tablets and cannabis.
He insisted that he would not have kicked a child, but accepted the CCTV showed him in the area, Ms Haigh told the court.
Andrew Turton, mitigating, said: "He is somewhat embarrassed by the fact that the robbery involves a ten-year-old child.
"He is a young man who has a record that is significant in length - a young life, again, blighted by drugs, which he has been unable to rid himself of.
"His manner and presentation would have been threatening to a young boy walking down the street."
Duffie, of Hartington Road, Stockton, admitted robbery and was locked up for 22 months by Judge Peter Bowers.
The judge described the offence as "particularly mean and nasty" and told him: "On any view, you have got an appalling record."
The court heard that Duffie has convictions for offences such as burglary, having an offensive weapon, criminal damage and shoplifting.
Mr Turton said for two years he was able to control his addiction, get a job, "settle down and live a stable life".
But he said drugs took over again in 2007 and Duffie turned to crime once more.
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