Terrified teenager robbed of his iPhone and swimming kit in knifepoint attack

Jordan Watson and James McGonnell were each jailed for three years and four months.

Jordan Watson and James McGonnell were each jailed for three years and four months.

A terrified teenager had a knife held to his neck while being robbed of his swimming kit as he left a Metro train after visiting a leisure centre.

The 16-year-old college student was travelling home after a trip to the baths in South Shields with a pal and got off at Bede Metro station on January 11.

James McGonnell and Jordan Watson held a knife to their victim's throat and ordered him to empty his pockets after he got off a Metro train at Bede station.

James McGonnell and Jordan Watson held a knife to their victim's throat and ordered him to empty his pockets after he got off a Metro train at Bede station.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he was followed by James McGonnell and Jordan Watson, who held a knife to his throat and ordered him to empty his pockets.

The victim was then punched and kicked as he cowered on the ground.

He suffered a fractured finger and a wound to his head, as well as cuts and swellings, as a result of the robbery.

The teen's backpack, containing his towel and swimming gear, as well as his iPhone and headphones, were taken during the attack.

Long-term pals McGonnell, 18, of Landseer Gardens, Whiteleas, South Shields, admitted robbery, and Watson, 19, of Gosforth Terrace, Pelaw, Gateshead, admitted robbery and having an offensive weapon.

The court heard both have previous convictions and they have offended together in the past.

Mr Recorder Toby Hedworth QC sentenced each of them to three years and four months behind bars.

He told them: "Once on that Metro you decided here was what you regarded as a soft target.

"You followed him off the Metro, approached him and punched him to the side of the head, and he was knocked to the ground.

"You, McGonnell told him to empty his pockets and you, Watson, held a knife with a 4in blade, to his throat.

"He was punched about the head and body by both of you."

The court heard the teenager was left "very nervous" and wary of travelling on the Metro again.

The judge added: "The citizens of Tyneside have got to feel comfortable being able to travel on public transport in the evenings and at night, and they can't do that if they think they are going to get off a train and have people like you coming up with knives and robbing them."

Jacqueline Coxon, defending McGonnell and Watson, said the friends have both struggled with addictions and been unable to hold down jobs, but have a "strong bond".

She added: "Unfortunately, their strong bond has also led them to drinking together and committing offences together.

"They both accept their friendship has obviously led them to committing offences together."

Miss Coxon said the pair, who are both in stable relationships with their partners, were drunk at the time of the Metro attack, and had not gone out that night with a plan to rob someone.

She added: "This was a spur of the moment decision while under the influence of alcohol, it clouded their judgement. They can only apologise to the victim for their behaviour."