Robber told a couple if they called the police he would ‘follow’ them out of jail – Gloucestershire News Service

A 20-year-old man who stole some £ 20 from Gloucester has been jailed for 58 weeks and banned from entering the city center for five years.

After robbing the couple, Preston Smart, 20, punched them – and told them that if they reported him to the police, he would “follow” them out of jail.

Yesterday (November 25), prosecutor Nicola Wood told Gloucester Crown Court that the couple, Ozzy Geller and Charisma Lusty, were on their way to Gloucester city center on the evening of October 2 last year when Smart, wearing hoodie, approached them in Southgate Street and asked them to empty their pockets.

“Smart also asked Mr Geller for cigarettes and ordered him to give him £ 20. He responded by saying that he did not have the money with him, ”the prosecutor said.

‘Smart then ordered Mr Geller to withdraw £ 20 from a nearby cash machine. He did it under duress.

“Smart then punched them in the face before warning them not to report it to the police. He told them that he had been in jail several times and warned them that when he got out of jail for this offense, he would prosecute them.

“After Smart walked away, Mr. Geller ignored Smart’s warning and called the police, who located Smart in the city within half an hour. He was found to be in possession of 0.2 grams of crack which had been hidden in his shoe.

In a victim impact statement Mr Geller said the withdrawal of the £ 20 caused him to go overdrawn at the bank, resulting in significant bank charges, which he could not afford. to allow.

Mr Geller added: “I have found that I now have anxiety when I go out. I don’t want to go out at night anymore. I was relieved when I heard that Smart was on a nighttime curfew. “

Ms Wood concluded: “This was a desperate attempt to get money to fund a drug addiction. It was obvious he had spent the £ 20 on crack cocaine.

Defending Joe Maloney said: “At the time of his offense, Smart was heavily addicted to cocaine. He filed his pleadings as quickly as possible. He has significantly reduced his cocaine use over the past year and he looks better.

“Smart spent the last month in pre-trial detention and this period gave him the opportunity to reflect on his future.

“Smart has made great strides in prison to deal with his drug addiction. He also wishes to apologize to Mr Geller for his actions. “

Smart formerly of Warwick Place, Pittville, Cheltenham but now without a fixed address in the Bristol area, pleaded guilty to stealing £ 20 from Mr Geller and attempting to steal Ms Lusty of unknown value and possessing 0.2 gram crack on October 2, 2020.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said: “You pleaded guilty to robbery at an earlier hearing in this court. However, I am not convinced that you are trying to cope.

“The reality of this offense is that it crosses the threshold of custody and carries a prison sentence, which I find unable to suspend due to your reluctance to work with probation.”

The judge jailed Smart to 58 weeks in prison and subjected him to a five-year criminal behavior order barring him from entering downtown. He was also ordered to pay a victim fine surcharge.

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