A middle-aged man who carried out a bizarre mugging on a 12-year-old boy has had his jail term cut by top judges.
Immature 46-year-old Lee Steven Cole seemed to have forgotten he had outgrown the schoolyard when he jumped from a bike he was riding on to the back of the boy and got him in a headlock in April last year in Ellesmere Port.
The “extremely phlegmatic” 12-year-old and burly Cole then began fighting, with Cole telling his victim, “give me your phone”
He eventually made off on his bike with the phone, after knocking the boy’s glasses off.
Cole who had an “appalling previous record” for robberies - mainly of old ladies - was jailed for six years at Chester Crown Court in September last year.
The defendant, of Alnwick Drive, Ellesmere Port, pleaded guilty to robbery.
But last week that sentence was cut to five years by Lord Justice Hamblen, at London’s Criminal Appeal Court.
The judge, sitting with Mr Justice William Davis and Sir David Maddison, said that while his terrible record meant he had to be given a stiff sentence, six years was too long.
The 12-year-old victim was said by the judge who sentenced Cole to have suffered serious psychological harm due to the attack.
But Lord Justice Hamblen said that, while he was “badly shaken up”, he had suffered no grave psychological damage.
“The contents of the victim impact statement do not come close to meeting the definition of serious psychological harm,” the judge added.
Slamming Cole’s behaviour he went on: “This was a man in his forties, of reasonable stature.
“Whilst riding a bicycle, he struck a 12-year-old boy from behind...jumped on top of him and took hold of him in a headlock”.
The feisty youth fought back until Cole “struck him in the face, causing his glasses to fall off,” the judge went on.
But the boy had proved himself “extremely phlegmatic for such a young individual.”
“Cole’s previous convictions had to result in an upward adjustment, but to take it this far was excessive,” ruled the appeal judge.
“We reduce the prison term from six years to five years.”
A four-year period of extended licence, that Cole must serve after his release, remained unchanged.