POLICE have released a picture of the thug who armed himself with a Samurai sword before robbing a Carlisle schoolboy.

Jamie Wilson, 31, was today beginning a four and a half year jail sentence after a jury convicted him of the terrifying robbery of a 13-year-old boy on a footpath near to the city's Keenan Park.

A Carlisle Crown Court trial heard how Wilson showed the boy a 3ft long sword, leaving him terrified.

He then rode off on the youngster's bike, leaving his own behind.

It happened on August 28 last year.

Wilson denied both the robbery and having an offensive weapon in a public place without good reason.

But the jury convicted him by majority verdict of the robbery and by a unanimous verdict of carrying the offensive weapon offence.

Throughout Wilson's three day trial, the court heard how the boy was targeted as he rode along a footpath with a friend at around 9pm.

The defendant rode his own bike in front of the two children before stopping and showing them his sword, commenting: “What do you think I could do with this?” The youngster replied: " “Hurt someone.” Wilson then took the boy's bike, leaving his own behind, the jury heard.

In court, the defendant, of of Miller’s Close, Botcherby, claimed he and the boy agreed to swap bikes, and that the schoolboy made up the robbery because his mother was annoyed when he returned home with the wrong bike. He denied using the sword to threaten the boy.

After the verdicts, Wilson's defence lawyer Jeff Smith said the defendant's family had spoken of his life “spiralling out of control” at the time of the robbery. He was in a very bad place, they said.

Of Wilson’s drug and alcohol use, Mr Smith added: “One can only assume that had an impact upon the stupidity he exhibited on the evening in question.”

As he jailed Wilson, Recorder Richard Archer told him: "It's clear to me there is not a shred of remorse for what you put the 13-year-old boy and (his friend) through. The jury have seen through the lies you told. You have lied consistently about the circumstances in which you came to have a Samurai sword in a public place on a summer’s evening.”