A TEENAGE ‘Fagin’ who forced two young brothers to steal gold from their family has been jailed for 18 months.
Blackburn magistrates heard his victims, aged 13 and 10, were terrified.
The gold jewellery they stole was sold to a pawnbroker to be melted down and could not be recovered.
The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to three charges of blackmail – making unwarranted threats and demands with menaces.
He was made subject to a detention and training order for 18 months. Magistrates also made him subject to a restraining order for 10 years which prevents him having contact with his victims or going on the street where they live.
Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the youth approached the older of the brothers and threatened to knock him out if he did not get him some gold.
He grabbed hold of him and threatened further violence if he told anyone.
“He was scared and went home and stole a gold ring from his family,” said Miss Allan.
The boy confided in his 10-year-old brother, who was terrified when the youth approached him the next day.
He was also told to get gold or he would be assaulted.
“When the boy did not get any, the defendant sent someone to his house who told him if he did not obey he would be attacked,” said Miss Allan.
“He took some gold that day and some more the following day after again being threatened.”
Miss Allan said both boys were frightened of the defendant and what he might do to them.”
John Ozyer, defending, said it was clearly not acceptable behaviour.
“He has accepted what he has done and that it is wrong,” said Mr Ozyer. “He is only 17 himself.”