Jail for Bishop's Cleeve man who stripped teenager during robbery
HUMILATING a terrified teen during a robbery has landed a Bishop's Cleeve man in jail.
Joe Swift, who appeared at Gloucester Crown Court on his 24th birthday, was given seven years behind bars for his part in the attack, which involved stripping his victim of his trousers and boxer shorts.
Richard Caster, an 18-year-old kitchen assistant, was abandoned in an isolated spot following the robbery.
Swift, of Crown Drive, had denied robbing Mr Caster although he did admit assaulting him causing actual bodily harm. He blamed the robbery and violence on co-defendant Kristoffer Capaldi, 27, of Crown Drive, Bishop's Cleeve.
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But after a five-day trial in July, the jury convicted Swift – who became a dad for the first time last month – of robbery and acquitted Capaldi of robbery and assault charges.
During the trial, Mr Caster told how he met up with the defendants and another man to buy cocaine but was then stripped, robbed and left without his jeans and pants at the roadside in Kayte Lane, Bishop's Cleeve.
There, he was punched on his right cheek, put in a headlock by the third man, dragged by his legs from the car, repeatedly punched and stripped. The men drove off, leaving him at the side of the road.
He suffered bruises and swelling of the face, a cut lip, and cuts and scratches to his back and shoulders.
The court heard that Swift had previous convictions for violence and was on licence from a previous jail term at the time of the offences.
Dean George, in mitigation, said Swift was remorseful and was now at last beginning to show signs of maturity.
He had now found a job and was in a settled relationship with a mother-of-two whose children he treats as his own. He added Swift's partner had given birth to their daughter last month and he had been devastated not to be present at the birth.
Judge Evans told Swift there were many aggravating features to the offences, including the facts that his victim had been young and vulnerable, the offence happened at night and there had been humiliation of the victim by stripping him of his lower clothing.
The judge jailed Swift for seven years for the robbery with 12 months to run concurrently for the assault.