A TEENAGER who attacked and robbed a vulnerable disabled man has been jailed for seven years.

Tala John Edward Sowerby befriended his victim in The Bishop Blaize pub, pictured below, in Richmond before dragging him around the streets of the market town forcing him to withdraw cash and leaving his victim battered and bleeding after he had been kicked, stamped on and punch in the face.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 19-year-old had been found guilty of robbery and assault for the attack on the man in September last year.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, said the defendant had pleaded guilty to a number of other offences carried out during a five-month spree, including aggravated vehicle taking, affray, theft and possession of an offensive weapon.

Sowerby had led police on a 100mph chase along A1 from Scotch Corner to the Ripon turn-off before ploughing the stolen Vauxhall Vectra into a road sign, leaving some of his passengers with minor injuries.

Mr Faulks said he had already forced a police car to crash into the central reservation at 70mph as he attempted to flee capture in July last year.

His crime spree started in May 2018, when he and accomplice stole £4,500 worth of tools from a joiner's van parked in Richmond and caused him to lose another £1,000 in loss of earnings and damage to his vehicle.

On Boxing Day, the court heard that the teenager had come out of his home armed with a knife and ran at a group of people who who believed had been involved in an incident with his mother.

Mr Faulks said he returned home after one of the people threw a glass at him.

Addressing the judge about the most serious crime, the robbery, he said: "He used a shod foot to kick and stamp on the victim; it was concerted, repeated and calculated. The harm that this has caused was understandably serious – the psychological damage has been long lasting."

In mitigation, Kelleigh Lodge, said her client has struggled to come to terms with his behaviour when he attacked the man, who has cerebral palsy, and had finally accepted what he had done that night.

Sowerby, of Victoria Road, Richmond, was jailed for a total of seven years.

Judge Deborah Sherwin said: "It was a prolonged, mean and cowardly attack on a man who was unable to defend himself."

Sowerby, of Victoria Road, Richmond, was jailed for a total of seven years.

He was given six years for robbery and a further two 12 month concurrent sentences for burglary and aggravated vehicle taking to running consecutively.

He was also banned from driving for two years and six months.