Published: 00:01, 11 April 2014
A teenage thug who mugged his own grandmother in her home so he could pay a drug debt has been locked up for four years.
Steven Murray left 76-year-old Shirley Glass, from Sittingbourne, shocked and bruised as he made off with her handbag containing £80.
Describing it as "very unpleasant", a judge said there was an element of betrayal as Murray, 19, had lived with the victim since he was four and she had given him everything by way of upbringing.
"This is not a case of a stranger going into her home and attacking her," said Judge Charles Macdonald QC. "In its own way I think it is as bad as a stranger attack, perhaps worse."
Maidstone Crown Court heard unemployed Murray and Mrs Glass were at home in Diligent Drive on February 15 this year when he asked her for £20.
At first she told him he could not have it, but gave him the cash after he reminded her it was his birthday the following week.
"When you were four your grandmother took you in because your family had let you down. She has given you everything you have by way of upbringing..." - Judge Charles Macdonald
He left the house and when he returned he tried to con Mrs Glass into believing she had not given him the money. She had put £40 aside for his birthday, so she gave him another £20.
Prosecutor Martin Yale said Mrs Glass went upstairs, taking her bag with her. Murray knew she had withdrawn £100 to pay the rent.
He went to her bedroom where she was lying down and started pulling at the strap. There was a tug-of-war and the strap broke. He snatched the bag and ran off.
She called the police and Murray was arrested. He told police his gran had money in the bank and was "tight-fisted".
Mr Yale said the teenager had in October last year been convicted of damaging property in the house and was given a conditional discharge.
He also had convictions for disorderly behaviour, common assault, criminal damage and travelling on the railway without paying.
Steven Supple, defending, said Murray - who admitted robbery - could live at his mother's home in Springhead Road, Faversham, if a suspended sentence were imposed.
Passing a youth custody sentence, Judge Macdonald said: "The facts of this case are very unpleasant. When you were four your grandmother took you in because your family had let you down.
"She has given you everything you have by way of upbringing. This is an unpleasant offence because of the element of betrayal."
Mr Supple said Murray had "embarked on a slippery slope of offending" triggered by substance abuse.
He had been dramatically upset by the death of his grandfather last year and dealt with it by turning to the wrong company, persuading him to take drugs.
Mr Supple said the teenager had a £200-a-day habit and was desperate to get money to pay his dealer.
"He clearly needs help to come off drugs," he said. "He is adamant it was a temporary lapse. His life has not been a happy one.
"His father died when he was three and his mother was not able to bring him up from that point. She had a nervous breakdown. His grandmother had custody of him."
Mr Supple said Mrs Glass had visited Murray in custody and had forgiven him, but she no longer wanted him living with her.
"He wants treatment to prevent any further drug abuse," he added. "I have warned him he is very much at the last chance saloon."
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