A teenage thug who robbed two victims threatening them with a broken bottle has been sentenced to three years youth custody.
Samuel Watson confronted two youths in Tesco’s car park in Larkfield on January 30 this year.
He threatened to kill his victims if they called the police, after he forced them to empty their pockets and stole mobile phones.
Watson had his hood up during the incident and demanded the victims hand over money.
When they protested that they didn’t have any cash, he insisted they turn their pockets out.
Both victims complied and held out phones and wallets. Watson made them unlock the phones before he stole them, warning them "don’t call the police or I will find you and kill you".
"Violence and threats of violence of this nature will simply not be tolerated on our streets..." - Det Con Toni Hatcher
The victims contacted Kent Police and it was quickly established that that one of their phones had been used just minutes after the robbery.
Records from a mobile phone service provider showed a number had been dialled. This phone number was then recognised by an officer as belonging to a relative of Watson.
On February 1, Watson was arrested and taken into custody for questioning. Officers noted a distinctive tattoo on his right hand which matched that described by the victims.
However, during police interview Watson denied any involvement in the offence and claimed he had been at home playing computer games.
The 19-year-old cocaine addict, of Tyler Close, East Malling, later admitted two robbery charges at Maidstone Crown Court.
The court heard he suffered from ADHD and mental health problems and had a sad upbringing. He and his partner had two children, but they were adopted.
Watson had a drink and drug problem. He started using cannabis and progressed to a £100-a-day cocaine habit.
The teenager sold the £600 phones for £150 and used the money to buy drugs.
Judge Charles Macdonald QC told him: “The aggravating features are numerous. There were two victims and one was only 17. You were on bail and on two community orders for acquisitive offences.
“There is some mitigation - your difficult and deprived background. This will be your first experience of custody.”
After sentencing, Detective Constable Tony Hatcher said: "This was no doubt a very frightening experience for these two young men, who were confronted with a potentially lethal weapon, along with threats to kill from Watson.
"We were able to quickly link Watson to a phone number dialled from one of the stolen mobiles and I’m very pleased that the courts have passed what is a substantial custodial sentence.
"It sends out a very clear message that violence and threats of violence of this nature will simply not be tolerated on our streets."