An 18-year-old man has been ordered to spend seven years in a Young Offender’s Institute after he stabbed two men as he tried to rob them of an iPhone.
Duvall Bartlett, of Olympic Close, Luton, was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday (3 May) after being found guilty of one count of robbery, two counts of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, and one count of possession of a bladed article.
Last year Bartlett messaged two men on Facebook to say he was interested in buying an iPhone they were selling. He met the men in a car in Olympic Close on 12 March 2018 and started to inspect the phone. He then threw what looked like moneyat the men, but this was actually tissue printed to look like money, before trying to make off with the phone.
The two men tried to restrain Bartlett and take the phone back, at which point they were both stabbed numerous times by him.
The victims managed to flee the scene and were later taken to hospital.
Bartlett was identified through the conversation he had had with the victims on Facebook and a warrant was carried out at his address. Two knives were found and he was arrested.
Detective Inspector Natalie Fletcher, who was overseeing the investigation, said: “Bartlett arranged to meet the men with no intention of ever actually giving them any money for the phone. He took a knife with him, showing clear intent to cause harm if anyone tried to stop him.
“This was a shocking incident, the attack was vicious and unprovoked, and it is fortunate that the injuries the victims sustained weren’t more serious.
“I’m pleased Bartlett has been issued with such a severe sentence and I hope this sends a clear message to anyone who thinks they can get away with carrying and using a knife to cause harm to another person. We continually warn about the consequences of knife crime and this case shows just how seriously it will be taken by both Bedfordshire Police and the courts.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to urge the public to be careful when meeting people after only communicating online. If you are meeting up with someone to exchange or sell an item, please ensure that you have someone else with you and that you are in an open or public space, that you also let someone know where you are and you have a mobile phone with you to summon help. If you have any suspicions that the buyer or seller may not be legitimate, or if you feel threatened by them in anyway, then it is important you leave as soon as possible.”