Rail worker robbed on way home by thug trio

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A RAILWAY worker who had just finished a night shift was robbed by three youths after he got off a train at Apsley.

Neil Kingham crossed the bridge over the canal and was heading towards Dickinson Quay at 6am when he was confronted by three youths in hoodies, with their faces covered by scarves.

Shane Blande, then 18, Ben Bond, also 18 at the time, and a 17-year-old told him to hand over what he had and threatened him with a metal pole.

Prosecutor Sean Sullivan said Mr Kingham handed over £5 or £6 in change and his work rucksack. He ran off and called the police.

The three youths left the scene and bought cigarettes from a nearby corner shop. Mr Kingham’s workbag was recovered at the scene.

Mr Sullivan said they were arrested after a media appeal. Blanden handed himself into the police and named his accomplices.

Blanden, now 19, of Annelle Rise, Hemel Hempstead and Bond, also19, previously of Barnfield, Hemel Hempstead, admitted committing the robbery on March 8 last year. Blanden had a conviction for criminal damage and two police warnings. Bond had one warning for stealing tools from a shed

Mr Sullivan said the 17-year-old was not prosecuted and had been given a final warning by the Crown Prosecution Service. He has now joined the army.

Recorder Amanda Tipples QC sentenced Blanden to a 12 month detention and training order suspended for 24 months, 180 hours’ unpaid work and a four month curfew covering Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights between 7.30pm and 6.30am.

Bond received a 10 month sentence suspended for 24 months, 150 hours unpaid work, a curfew and he must also go to an attendance centre for 24 hours for training.