A lad robbed a United Utilities worker of his toolbox as his mate distracted him… when the man chased him to get it back, he pulled out a machete.

Leandro Martins, was 17 at the time when he and another lad on a bicycle, approached the two workers who were working on a fire hydrant in Blackley in May this year.

Martins, who was on foot, stood near to the workmen’s van as the lad on the bike spoke to them.

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He then swiped a toolbox from the boot before making a run for it, Manchester Crown Court heard.

“One employee chased after him, but the defendant turned round and produced a machete from his trousers and pointed it towards him threatening to stab him,” prosecutor Katy Laverty said.

“The employee then ran off.

“The police attended and saw a male laid on the ground near to a grass verge, who then made off. It was this defendant.”

Later that day Martins’ sister approached the police and handed in the 10 centimetre blade.

In a basis of plea, Martins, now 18, accepts the Crown’s case, but denied telling the man to “f*** off or I’ll stab you,” but instead claiming he got the machete out and told him to “f*** off”.

In a statement, the worker said he goes to work to do his job and he ‘shouldn’t have to worry about what might happen’.

Martins was said to have an extensive record of previous convictions including three robberies committed in 2018 when he was aged just 15.

In mitigation, his defence counsel Peter Malone said his client may be suffering from ADHD and is susceptible to following others.

“He can be influenced by people who are criminally minded,” he said.

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“He has insight into what he has done, there is a deep regret and he has had the opportunity to reflect on his actions.

“For some time he has recognised the area where he lives causes him some concern in that he is influenced by others very easily.”

He added that his client is an aspiring chef and wants to gain qualifications upon his release.

Sentencing, Recorder Timothy Hannam QC said: “You have to appreciate living a life around like that carrying weapons, you can quite easily kill someone.

“The carrying of knives by young men in public is one of the most dangerous, depraved and most tragic consequences of our immediate society.

“You brandished this enormous knife in a very aggressive manner.

“It seems likely that you were already armed with it and you agreed with your accomplice on how the offence should be carried out.”

Martins, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 32 months in a young offenders institution.

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