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Two men who deliberately targeted students walking through Bede Park in Leicester have been jailed after pleading guilty to their part in a number of robberies.
Carlos Jamanca, 18, of Robert Hall Street, Leicester, and Victor Essienobon, 21, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to the offences at earlier hearings.
Yesterday (Tuesday 4 June) they appeared at Leicester Crown Court.
Jamanca was jailed for two years and three months for robbery. He was also given three concurrent sentences for a robbery and two attempted robberies of two years and three months each. These sentences will run alongside the main sentence.
Essienobon was jailed for three years for robbery. He was also given three concurrent sentences; six months for handling stolen goods, three years for robbery and three years for attempted robbery. These sentences will run alongside the main sentence.
The court heard how the two defendants were arrested in the Bede Park area after a 21-year-old man reported being approached, as he was walking over the bridge from Bede Park to Briton Street, during the evening of Saturday 16 February.
The defendants demanded cash from the victim but he managed to run away and alert the police.
Earlier the same day the defendants approached two men who were walking together in Bede Park, they threatened to stab the victims unless they handed over cash. They were taken to a cash machine where they withdrew cash.
During the investigation officers also questioned the defendants in relation to a robbery days earlier, on Thursday 14 February. A 21-year-old victim was approached by the two defendants, who took his mobile phone and then demanded cash in return for the phone.
They then made the victim walk to a cash machine where he withdrew some money and handed it over to the defendants.
Detective Constable Dan Thorpe was the investigating officer. He said: “The defendants deliberately targeted the area of Bede Park knowing it’s used by students from the local university, they had no qualms in threatening the victims with violence if they didn’t comply.
“Luckily none of the victims were hurt but were left quite shocked by what they had been subjected to. We’re pleased that they have both pleaded guilty to the offences and hope this deters them away from a life of crime.”
Inspector Rob Randell from West Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Area (NPA), said: “Bede Park is at the centre of the local community and we have worked hard with Leicester City Council to make the area a safe environment for residents and students to enjoy.
“Often students are guests in our city and should feel safe to enjoy student life without fear of being targeted. The local police team works hard with De Montfort University and other student services to ensure that students enjoy their time here in Leicester.”