Street robber jailed as judge slams Rugby as a crime hotspot — (The Rugby Advertiser)

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The Rugby Advertiser   

Published: 15:20 Updated: 16:50 Wednesday 31 October 2007

A MAN who carried out two street robberies, during which he threatened to stab his victims, within minutes of each-other has been jailed for three years.

For the second time in a few days, Judge Martin Coates told the court that robberies were ‘prevelant’ in Rugby and so he had to be jailed.

Adam Mickleburgh (24) of Grosvenor Road, Rugby, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of robbery.

Prosecutor Neil Banister said that at 2am on September 20 Nicholas Brightwell was walking along Bilton Road, Rugby, when a Rover car pulled up next to him.

The driver, Mickleburgh, got out and approached him, demanding: “Give me your phone or I’ll stab you.”

Mr Brightwell, who did not have a mobile phone, was shocked and made no reply, at which Mickleburgh repeated the demand and told him: “Give me your f…ing phone or I’ll f…ing stab you.”

Mickleburgh began to pat down his victim’s pockets from where he took a betting slip and, when Mr Brightwell began to struggle, punched him in the eye and demanded his cigarettes, having taken his lighter from him.

He then pulled out a knife, at which Mr Brightwell feared for his safety and ran off.

Mickleburgh got back into the car and, fearing he was going to get run down, Mr Brightwell jumped into a garden, but the defendant carried on driving towards the town centre.

Mr Brightwell did not contact the police straight away, but did so after he heard about a similar attack which took place a few minutes later.

On that occasion Robert Reesby was cycling along Hillmorton Road on his way home from work on an industrial estate in Crick when a Rover car suddenly drove in front of him and mounted the kerb, forcing him to stop.

Mickleburgh got out of the car and pushed Mr Reesby off his bike, causing him to suffer cuts and grazing, and demanded his mobile phone and any money he had.

When Mr Reesby said he did not have anything Mickleburgh threatened to stab him if he did not take off his rucksack and hand it over, putting his hand in his pocket to take out the knife.

So Mr Reesby removed the rucksack, which contained a change of clothing and a bicycle pump, and Mickleburgh took it from him, got back into the car and drove off.

He was arrested shortly afterwards when the police saw him driving the Rover with a deflated tyre, correctly suspecting he was over the legal alcohol limit – for which he has since been dealt with by Rugby magistrates.

When the robberies were put to him Mickleburgh, who is a south African national, made a prepared statement denying the offences, added Mr Bannister.

Matthew Barnes, defending, said: “His position has always been that he
does not remember doing this. He said in his statement that he was completely astonished that he could have carried out the robberies.”

Mr Barnes said that Mickleburgh had previously been ‘utterly respectable and hard working,’ and only last week was promoted to assistant manager at the restaurant in Rugby where he works.

Asking for any prison sentence to be suspended, he added that Mickleburgh was on medication for depression at the time, and committed the two offences after drinking an extraordinary amount of alcohol that night.

But jailing Mickleburgh and recommending that he be deported after serving his sentence, Judge Marten Coates told him: “It is quite amazing how someone like you appears before me having pleaded guilty to two serious offences of robbery.

“It is serious because it is a prevalent crime, and particularly so in Rugby. Robberies cannot be overlooked.”
Last Updated: 31 October 2007 4:50 PM