Young muggers Tyler McNeill and Joshua Chapman treat court with 'gross disrespect'
by Paul Hooper
Two Barming youngsters who regard themselves as
brothers have been jailed for a mugging after getting a
dressing down from a judge.
Tyler McNeill, 21, and friend Joshua Chapman - who will
spend his 20th birthday on Christmas Day behind bars – were both
convicted of robbery.
But Judge Heather Norton, pictured left, told the smirking
pair they had treated the court with "gross disrespect" during
their trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
Trevor Wright, defending McNeil, said they had known each other
since they were three and "regarded themselves as brothers".
He added: "They have a common bond and common support which has
kept them as close as they are.
"It was that which maybe why at the start of the trial that they
might have appeared to be treating the court with disrespect, but
they were like brothers who hadn't seen each other for a
But the judge retorted: "They were behaving with gross
disrespect towards the court and they totally lacked any insight
into what they had done.
"McNeill even blamed the victim for what happened and said it
had ruined his life. Well he hasn't – he is responsible for his own
The pair, from Springwell Road, Barming, in Maidstone, were
convicted of robbing victim student Mitchell Abbott of a mobile
phone after a dispute over cash in March.
The jury heard McNeil headbutted and punched Mr Abbott – as
Chapman shouted: "Go through his pockets".
McNeill was jailed for a total of 24 months and Chapman sent to
a young offenderss' institution for 21 months after the judge
said there had been a "gratuitous use of violence" during the
Tyler McNeill and Joshua
Chapman were locked up at Canterbury Crown Court
John Fitzgerald, for Chapman – who has four previous convictions
for robbery in Canterbury – said the teenager had taken no part in
But the judge said: "This was a joint enterprise and you
(Chapman) lied repeatedly in your interview with police about your
involvement and participation."
Mr Fitzgerald added: "His personal circumstances are tragic. He
was taken into care at five years old.
"Both of his parents were unhelpful – that's as generous as I
can be – with his mother a drug addict and his father of the same
ilk who died tragically outside Maidstone Crown Court about six
"He has lived in 15 or 16 different homes since the age of five
– that's more than one a year. Although he doesn't use it as an
excuse, it is a sad cycle of someone falling into criminal
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