A YOUNG dad who took part in the knifepoint robbery of a neighbour in his own home has been sent to detention for 20 months.
Burnley Crown Court heard how “vulnerable” Dale Chenier (20) was said to have been taken advantage of by a stronger accomplice, but without him the crime could not have been committed.
Both men had been disguised and the main man produced a knife, which the defendant knew nothing about.
The victim had felt his life was in danger until he realised it was Chenier, at which point the defendant grabbed some Playstation games and left the house. He then went back across the road to his own property.
Chenier, of Cleveland Street, Colne, admitted robbery. He was sent to a young offenders’ institution.
Philip Holden, for Chenier, said he had played an important but subordinate role and was not aware of the existence of a knife.
At the time Chenier and his partner were having money problems.
They had just had a baby, he had stopped taking his anti-depressants, at least for a time, and they were trying to find appropriate family accommodation.
Mr Holden said: “It’s something of a real regret for this defendant that he will be away from his family.
“He’s still only 20 and it will be the first time he has been deprived of his liberty.”
Sentencing, Recorder Gordon Wood QC said the robbery was an extremly unpleasant experience for the owner of the house and his partner but, the judge added, he accepted Chenier did not know a knife was going to be used.
The judge added the crime had been ill thought-out as the defendant had gone back across the road to his own house.
He told the defendant, who he described as lightly convicted and from a background suggesting disadvantage: “You were bound to be caught.”