A MASKED and weapon-wielding young man ordered a cyclist on to his knees before attacking him with a length of pipe and stealing his bike.

Barry Grant Loan, 21, had first meted out violence to a stranger in Keswick on October 6, 2019.

At around 9.20pm, James Bellis was with his parents outside a coffee shop.

After an earlier verbal exchange, Mr Bellis was approached by Loan, who punched him twice to the face in quick succession, and remembered nothing more as he was knocked out.

The victim’s mother saw the blows delivered, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

“She was understandably shocked,” said prosecutor Brendan Burke, “and mentions that after he had gone to the ground unconscious, as his mother puts it, the defendant then ‘booted’ him to the head while he was on the floor.”

An off-duty nurse offered first aid to the victim, who suffered bruising to his head and tenderness to the jaw, cheekbone and nose, detailing a 'massive' impact in the aftermath, anxiety and hearing problems.

'Needless, disgusting degradation'

While on bail for that offence, Loan turned violent again on November 29, 2020.

After a verbal altercation with bike-riding bystander Christopher Alston which initially ended in handshakes, Loan and two accomplices returned to the scene, masked and carrying weapons.

Mr Alston surrendered the £400 bike and tried to run off but an ankle injury hampered his escape. “Ringleader” Loan told him: “On your knees.”

“Mr Alston did kneel and comments at that point he thought he was going to be killed,” said Mr Burke. “In the lead role, Mr Loan hit him with a piece of pipe to the back, the kidney area.”

After an accomplice struck him with a spanner, Loan hit him a second time with the pipe.

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Mr Alston, whose bike stolen was stolen, had also provided an impact statement. “He talks about not sleeping well, ruminating on what happened to him that night, continuing to be in fear for his partner and young child,” said Mr Burke.

Loan, of Rickerby Lane, Portinscale, near Keswick, later admitted two assault actual bodily harm offences, and theft.

Recorder Paul Hodgkinson read a raft of background material about Loan, including specialist reports, positive character references and letters. Since the incidents, said defence barrister Rachel Oakdene, he had 'identified and addressed his failings', and distanced himself from peers.

“Mr Loan is a very different individual from the person who in 2019 and 2020 was behaving disgracefully on the streets of Keswick,” said Ms Oakdene.

Recorder Hodgkinson remanded Loan in custody for 90 minutes as he considered his sentence having heard he had been electronically tagged since December, 2020.

When he hearing resumed, the judge suspended 24 months’ custody for two years. Loan must complete a four-month night time curfew, 180 hours’ unpaid work and pay Mr Alston £500 compensation.

Recorder Hodgkinson observed the kneeling demand had been “needless, disgusting degradation”, adding: “All of these offences are terrible, disgusting, shameful.”

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