United Kingdom

Ex-football star Darren Huckerby's son locked up for three years over hammer gang street robberies

Former football star Darren Huckerby has admitted he is 'incredibly disappointed' with his teenage son after he was convicted of street robberies.

The ex-Norwich City forward said he was 'devastated' for the young victims of his son Benjamin Huckerby, 18, who were targeted on January 12 this year.

Huckerby and accomplices Levi Licorish, 18, and Lucas Philpott, 19, moved around in a group to 'intimidate' other teenagers in Norwich city centre.

Benjamin Huckerby, 18, son of football icon Darren, has been sentenced to three years in a young offenders institution

The trio were armed with a hammer and covered their faces as they robbed one victim of a necklace and another of an Apple watch within minutes of each other.

Norwich Crown Court heard how a third teen was threatened and asked to hand over a bag, but the group fled when they heard police sirens approaching.

Huckerby was sentenced to three years in a young offenders institution after he admitted two counts of robbery, attempted robbery and possession of cannabis.

Darren Huckerby, 44, who scored 48 goals in 203 appearances for the Canaries between 2003 and 2008 released a statement condemning his son after the hearing.

He said: 'We made our home in Norwich because we fell in love with the city, county and people when we arrived in 2003.

'I have always tried to pay back some of the welcome by trying to hold the highest standards on and off the pitch, helping the local community when I can and through things like the charitable trust we set up.

'So as a family we are incredibly disappointed and hurt by Ben's actions, which go against everything we stand for.

Benjamin pictured with his father, Norwich City legend Darren Huckerby, at the club's Carrow road stadium in May 2018

'Learning the choices he made has shocked us. He knows our feelings about the incidents and the damage caused. Our thoughts go out to those involved in this case, we are devastated that their lives were affected in this way.

'We haven't been able to say this before now, to allow the legal process to come to an end.

'We accept the outcome of that legal process. Ben will now need to serve his sentence and take responsibility for his actions after which his family will support him to turn into the young man we hoped he would grow up to be.'

Prosecutor Chris Youell said the robberies were carried out by the group using 'force in numbers' and the threat of violence near the Vue cinema and Castle Gardens in Norwich.

The court heard how the first victim was asked for his chain and told 'things are going to get worse for you' if he did not do as he was asked.

Benjamin Huckerby and others were sentenced at Norwich Crown Court, during which Judge Anthony Bate described the robberies as 'cowardly and mean offending'

Huckerby of Keswick near Norwich was caught 'red handed' in possession of the Apple watch and necklace, and a yellow hammer was found discarded close to the scene.

Judge Anthony Bate described the robberies as 'cowardly and mean offending'.

Hew said the group had acted as 'bullies' where they used their 'collective weight to intimidate others' into giving up what they had,

Licorish, of Norwich, was sentenced to two years and nine months in a YOI after he admitted the two robberies and attempted robbery.

Philpott of Norwich received a 15 month sentence in a YOI after admitting one count of robbery.

Will Carter, defending Huckerby, said he accepted being part of a joint enterprise, and that 'together they behaved in a way which they individually wouldn't have done'.

Lucas Philpott (left) and Levi Licorish (right) have also been sentenced after participating in the robbery in Norwich city centre

He said Huckerby 'knew the hammer was there' but had insisted he 'did not use it'. He added that he was of previous good character but had 'gone off the rails'.

Rob Pollington, defending Licorish, said he had a 'very difficult' upbringing, and had allowed himself to be with others that had 'led him down a path of offending not in keeping with his character'.

Matthew Sorel-Cameron, for Philpott, said he was remorseful and that the group had 'fuelled each other to commit these offences'.

Darren Huckerby had spells with Newcastle United, Coventry City and Manchester Coty before joining Norwich City.

He ended his playing career with San Jose Earthquakes, later becoming an Academy coach with Norwich and an Ambassador for the club.

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