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Costumed robbers locked up for violent attack in Hereford
9:30am Thursday 11th October 2012 in Local News
MEN who violently robbed a man in Hereford while dressed as a tiger and a red devil have been locked up.
Frederick Dixon, 18, and David Aston-Brown, 20, wore all-in-one suits when they followed their victim along Old School Lane in the early hours of August 20.
Worcester Crown Court heard this week how the pair shouted at the man – who was in his 30s and walking to work at the time – demanding a cigarette and a mobile phone before snatching his rucksack.
They pushed him to the floor, causing him to cut his head.
Dixon then put him in a head-lock so Aston-Brown could kick him in the chest.
After emptying their victim’s bag on the floor, they made off with 80p in change, a keyring and a work clocking-in card.
When police released CCTV images of the costumed men in a bid to catch them, it was first thought they were dressed as cats.
But on Monday, it was revealed Dixon wore a animal-print all-in-one, while Aston-Brown was dressed as a red devil.
Michael Aspinall, defending Dixon, said the men had got drunk, dressed up and gone out to “mess around”.
“These were two heavily intoxicated young men who had gone out, in Fred Dixon’s case in breach of a curfew, but not to commit offences,” he said.
The court heard both men, who admitted robbery and live at Pomona Place, Whitecross, Hereford, had difficult childhoods.
But Aston-Brown – who had previous convictions for racially aggravated public disorder, battery against an ex-girlfriend and handling stolen goods – was remorseful and Dixon was trying to deal with his past.
The teenager, who had previous convictions for battery, common assault, sexual assault, criminal damage and an attempted robbery, had been released from a youth detention centre less than two weeks before this incident.
Sentencing them both to three years in custody, Judge John Cavell said: “This was determined street violence on a complete stranger.
“You stole property that was almost trifling in its value, but caused serious harm to your victim.”
- Speaking after the case, Detective Sergeant Tim Powell of Hereford police said: “The case was solved thanks to the media reports and members of the public coming forward to give information that led us to CCTV footage which positively identified the suspects, leaving them with no option but to plead guilty.”