• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Jail for ‘Tarzan’-haired ringleader of gang that mugged man in Kidlington alleyway

Byoxfordnewspaper

Jul 29, 2022

THE ‘TARZAN’ haired ringleader of a teenaged gang that mugged an innocent in an alleyway was branded a ‘violent bully’ by the judge who sent him down for three years.

Leon Dine, 19, had denied involvement in the knifepoint robbery that saw victim Jordan Wyatt stripped of his £750 Moncler jacket – despite the loser naming him as the ringleader and identifying his ‘Tarzan’-like hairdo.

Jurors saw through his lies, finding him guilty at Oxford Crown Court in June of robbery and possession of a knife.

READ MORE: Prosecution opens its case in 'Tarzan' robbery trial

Sentencing Dine to three years in a young offenders’ institution on Thursday, Judge Nigel Daly said: “You showed a degree of arrogance. You behaved like an arrogant, violent bully and, reading all I have about you, that really does surprise me because that certainly isn’t the way you are perceived by people who know you.”

Addressing the ringleader and co-defendants, Sean Gallagher and Daniel Brain, the judge added: “It seems to me the three of you and the others were going round as a gang and deliberately decided to rob this young man, take his very expensive coat, threatened him with a knife and beat him up.”

During the trial, jurors heard how Mr Wyatt was on his way back from running an errand to Tesco for his girlfriend when he was surrounded by the gang in an alleyway between Oxford Road and Green Road. He was wearing a £750 black Moncler jacket.

Dine encouraged the others to join the pile-on, shouting ‘get him’ to the boys in the alleyway.

Mr Wyatt told the jury that at one point, the ringleader snarled at him: “Take your coat off or I’m going to shank you.”

READ MORE: Jury warned about 'mistaken identity'

The victim told the court: “At that point he put his hand down his trousers and pulled out a knife.” The six-inch, black-handled kitchen knife was not used to wound him.

The gang managed to wrestle from Mr Wyatt the Moncler jacket, although he managed to keep hold of his phone. A bank card left in the pocket of the coat was later used by Gallagher.

In a victim personal statement summarised to the court by prosecutor Edward Culver, Mr Wyatt said he had had to take time off work as a result of his injuries. The robbery left him feeling vulnerable and that ‘life is very fragile’.

Dine, of Yarnton Road, Kidlington, was convicted of robbery and possession of a bladed article. Kellie Enever, mitigating, pointed to positive character references, including from a charity for which he had volunteered since 2021.

Gallagher, 19, of Cherwell Avenue, Kidlington, pleaded guilty to robbery, fraud and possession of cannabis. He received 16 months’ detention suspended for a year-and-a-half and must complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 150 hours of unpaid work. He was remorseful, brief Peter du Feu said.

Brain, 18, of Cherwell Avenue, Kidlington, admitted robbery. Judge Daly imposed 19 months’ detention suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours of unpaid work and 32 rehabilitation sessions. Jonathan Coode, mitigating, said Brain had known nothing about the knife that was produced – and was a year younger than his co-defendants.

All the men were under-18 when the robbery was committed. They had spent a year on police bail conditions before they were charged.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward