Thatcham man jailed for street robbery
A MAN has been jailed for nearly four years for his part in two violent street robberies – one apparently carried out at knifepoint.
On Friday March 18, two other youths who had enslaved him were released from the dock at Reading Crown Court with lesser sentences.
But Judge Edward Burgess refused to suspend the prison sentence of ringleader Josh Rodgers, 20, of Sandstone Grove, Thatcham, saying he posed a danger to society.
Prosecutor James Onalaga said the victims in one case, Chloe Bowley and Tyler Stannard, were parked at a community center when they were approached by Rodgers and a 19-year-old accomplice, Brendan Clucas-Slade of Flooden Drive, Calcot.
Suddenly, Mr. Rodgers attacked Mr. Stannard, repeatedly punching him in the face while shouting at Mr. Clucas-Slade to grab the bag his victim was carrying, the court heard.
Mr Onalaga said when Ms Bowley tried to save the bag she was forcibly grabbed around the neck and Mr Clucas-Slade threatened to stab her, showing her a metal object which she mistook for a knife .
Rodgers and Clucas-Slade then fled with the bag which contained possessions worth £120, he added.
Judge Burgess saw photographs of the injuries sustained by both victims, including cuts and bruises.
On another occasion, another victim, James Bailey, was at the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Newbury when he was approached by the third defendant, Ben Rigby, 19, of Middle Farm Close, Newbury.
Rigby began making aggressive gestures at Mr Bailey, whom he had known from school, Mr Onalaga said.
Mr Bailey fled in his car and drove home – but Rigby and his passenger, Rodgers, followed him there.
Rodgers then jumped out of the vehicle and lunged at Mr Bailey, raining blows on him while yelling at Rigby to ‘get his coat’.
The couple then left with the £800 coat which also contained £60 in cash, the court heard.
Mr Onalaga said Mr Bailey then received a phone call from Rigby, who threatened: ‘If you go to the police we will bomb your house.’
Both Rodgers and Clucas-Slade gave “no comment” interviews and initially denied the August 2020 robbery, only later changing their guilty pleas.
Rigby admitted to committing a theft in December 2020.
The court heard Rodgers’ offense was in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed for criminal damage and reckless endangerment of life for throwing objects at vehicles on the M4 from a footbridge near Newbury .
Several vehicles were damaged, including a bus full of schoolchildren.
Gary Venturi, for Rigby, said his client had no idea Rodgers would use violence and succumbed to a “moment of madness”, adding that he had no previous convictions and was genuinely remorseful.
Amy Jones, for Clucas-Slade, said her client had ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and was “very young and very naïve”.
She added that he grew up experiencing violence from his mother Lisa at the family home in Newbury and watching her stab his father with a carving knife and attack other male friends with scissors and garden shears.
Francis Lloyd, for Rodgers, said his client also has ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder.
Nonetheless, he pleaded with the judge not to officially label Rodgers as dangerous which could ruin his future prospects.
He added: “He’s a young man with a future – he’s a hard worker.”
Judge Burgess said he viewed Rodgers as a potential danger to the public, but refrained from officially labeling him as such, which would have resulted in an extension of his sentence.
He jailed Rodgers for 46 months, half of which will be served in custody and the rest on license in the community.
Clucas-Slade was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to perform 150 hours of unpaid community work.
Rigby was placed on an 18-month community order and required to perform 70 hours of unpaid community work.
Josh Rogers, 18, of Sandstone Grove, Hermitage, and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons were sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday June 26.
The three were charged with
Inglut and Rogers pleaded guilty to criminal damage recklessly endangering life at Reading Crown Court on 19 November 2019 and 28 February 2020 respectivelyiv