A TEENAGER who stole a silver chain from the neck of a man he had just punched to the ground and seriously injured has been locked up.

Anthony McAllister, 18, who apologised for his actions in a letter to Carlisle Crown Court, left his victim with multiple facial fractures following the unprovoked attack on August 3 last year. The defendant pleaded guilty to a single offence of robbery.

Prosecutor Brendan Burke described what happened.

He said the victim, a painter and decorator from Sunderland, had been out for the evening with friends in Carlisle city centre and after they had returned to their hotel, he began talking to a group of people outside the Walkabout bar in Botchergate.

It was 11.30pm.

Without provocation, the defendant suddenly delivered a violent blow to the man’s face, causing him to immediately collapse on to the ground. As he lay there, stunned, McAllister took the silver chain from the victim’s neck and walked away.

Another of the group is believed to have taken the man’s phone.

The prosecutor said police later found McAllister, out of breath, in an alley between Bedford Road and Dowbeck Road.

The court was told then about the injuries sustained by the victim: he woke the next morning to find out he had a black eye and a swollen face.

A hospital later confirmed he suffered fractures to his jaw, eye socket and cheek bone. There was also a psychological impact, with the man fearing he would be attacked again and no longer going out.

His confidence had been shattered. The defendant's previous offending batteries and an actual bodily harm assault. 

In a letter read aloud to the court, the defendant – 17 when he committed the offence – said: “At the time, I had a lot going on in my family life. My mental health wasn’t in the right place.”

He confirmed having no memory of the violence but said he wanted to sincerely apologise to the victim and hoped he could forgive him.

Kim Whittlestone, defending, said McAllister, from Raffles Avenue, Raffles, had gone through a troubled upbringing and 2023 had been an “extremely turbulent time” for the teenager.  He was mixing with the wrong people and a background report showed there were “unresolved issues.”

Judge Nicholas Barker said that the defendant, without provocation, had delivered an “extremely forceful” blow as part of the robbery, committed while the victim lay on the ground injured and vulnerable.

“This was a serious act of violence and robbery,” observed the judge.

The victim suffered significant injuries and was deeply affected, suffering extreme anxiety and a general loss of confidence. The offence was so serious that only immediate custody was appropriate.

The defendant was given 18 months youth detention.