Castleford biker robber jailed for 15 months

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A man who stole a motorbike after the rider was pulled from it by the helmet and beaten, has been given a 15-month jail term.

Matthew Higgins, of Holywell Lane, Redhill, in Castleford, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and a separate count of burglary before the sentencing.

Higgins was one of three men who targeted off-road bikers who were riding through Fryston Woods, in Castleford, in August of last year.

Simon Haring, prosecuting, said: “The group parted as if to let him through and then they grabbed him by the helmet and pulled him off.”

Leeds Crown Court heard that Higgins’ role in the crime was not to attack the rider but to kickstart the victim’s bike and ride away with it.

After being recognised by the victim, Higgins was arrested three days later before he burgled the garden shed of a deceased man while still on police bail in November.

The court was told that Higgins had stolen around £2,000 of tools, some of which was later recovered.

Michael Smith, mitigating, said: “The violence was by his co-accused, his role was to get on the motorcycle and drive away.”

Mr Smith said that the defendant’s offending had stopped after his 21st birthday, which was a “considerable achievement” for him.

The court heard that Higgins had previous convictions including dangerous driving, assault and criminal damage.

Mr Smith said: “At just 21 there may be a prospect of turning the life around of Matthew Higgins.”

Higgins was sentenced to 12 months in prison for the robbery of the motorcycle as well as three months for the burglary to run consecutively, totalling a 15 month jail term.

Judge James Spencer said: “You need reminding that this kind of act is not acceptable.”

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