Five young men have been sentenced after a 16-year-old boy was attacked in a violent robbery in Watford.

Richard Batchelor, Rickarlo Williams, Jahni Menzie-Samuels, Joshua Olorunfemi and a 17-year-old boy - who cannot be named - pleaded guilty to the robbery which occurred in the town on November 9 last year.

St Albans Crown Court heard how the incident began on The Parade in High Street when all five offenders surrounded the victim – a 16-year-old boy who was visiting from out of town.

They pushed him to the ground and dragged him into the lobby of the Gade Car Park before stealing his coat, headphones, wallet and mobile phone.

Watford Observer: The incident happened in Gade car park in WatfordThe incident happened in Gade car park in Watford

A short time later Williams, Menzie-Samuels and Olorunfemi were arrested by police officers nearby, who recovered the victim’s property and returned it to him.

Williams made off before again being detained on King Street and assaulting the police officer who arrested him.

Menzie-Samuels ran from the scene and got into a taxi, which was tracked and stopped by officers.

Watford Observer: Richard Batchelor (bottom right), Jahni Menzie-Samuels (top right) and Rickarlo Williams (left) are among people to be sentenced (photo Hertfordshire Constabulary)Richard Batchelor (bottom right), Jahni Menzie-Samuels (top right) and Rickarlo Williams (left) are among people to be sentenced (photo Hertfordshire Constabulary)

He got out of the taxi, causing damage to the vehicle and police car as he did so, and ran off.

He was detained a few minutes later after being found hiding in bushes in Century Retail Park off Dalton Way.

The remaining offenders – Batchelor and the 17-year-old – were both arrested a week later following CCTV enquiries before being charged and remanded in custody.

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Four of the five appeared before St Albans Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, November 5.

Richard Batchelor, 19, formerly of Rushton Avenue, Watford, pleaded guilty to robbery and was handed a sentence of five years and two months to be served in a Young Offenders’ Institute (YOI). On release, he will be the subject of a two-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) which prohibits him from entering Watford town centre.

Rickarlo Williams, 19, formerly of Harrow, north London, pleaded guilty to robbery and assault of an emergency worker. He was sentenced to three years and six months in a YOI and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190.

Jahni Menzie-Samuels, 19, formerly of Harrow, north London, pleaded guilty to robbery and criminal damage, receiving a three year and four month sentence to be carried out in a YOI. He too was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190.

Joshua Olorunfemi, 18, of Chester Road, Watford, also pleaded guilty to robbery and received a one-year Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO) plus a 12-month supervision order. In addition, he will be required to undertake 90 hours of unpaid work.

The 17-year-old spent five months on remand prior to sentencing.

He previously appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday 11 May this year, where he was given a two-year CBO which prohibits him from entering Watford town centre and associating with Batchelor. He also received a YRO, a three-month tagged curfew and 100 hours of unpaid work.

PC Claudia McCready, who carried out the investigation, said: “This was a really challenging crime to investigate, not least because the victim was vulnerable. They were left understandably distressed by what had happened to them but they felt they could not support police action.

“However we chose to pursue a victimless prosecution due to the seriousness of the offence, which was witnessed by members of the public in broad daylight in one of the busiest areas of the town."

She added: “Violent crime will not be tolerated in Watford and we will continue to protect the public by cracking down hard on those who carry out these despicable offences.”