Teen prisoner tried to arrange for witness in his robbery trial to be intimidated

Teenager prisoner Garry Lawton tried to intimidate a witness who was due to give evidence against him in a trial.

The 18-year-old was on remand at Werrington Young Offenders’ Institution awaiting a trial for a charge of robbery when he called his sister and suggested she should see someone to arrange for the main witness to drop the charge.

But the call was recorded.

Now Lawton has been jailed for 10 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. But he was immediately released from custody as he has been on remand for seven months.

Prosecutor Andrew Baker said the defendant was on remand at Werrington Young Offenders’ Institution awaiting a trial for robbery on June 21, 2019 when he called his half sister.

Werrington Young Offenders’ Institution

Mr Baker said: “In an effort to try to make the matter go away he phoned his half sister and suggested she arrange for a person to arrange for the main witness to drop the charges.

“The call was recorded and the police were waiting when the person attended North Staffordshire Justice Centre and he did not have any contact with the main witness.”

Lawton, of no fixed address, who has a long record of dishonesty including four robberies, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to do an act to pervert the course of public justice.

Barry White, representing Lawton, said his client has spent seven months in custody.

Recorder Jason MacAdam told Lawton: “You were 17 at the time you committed this offence.

“You have 10 convictions for 19 offences between August 2017 and December 2019. You have previous convictions for serious offences including four robberies, two committed before this offence and two after.

“You have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice to intimidate the person who was to be a witness against you in a trial in June last year.

“I heard the call. You had the good sense to plead guilty. You were bang to rights.

“It is a serious offence. You made the call two days before the trial.”

The judge said he had to reduce the sentence by 20 per cent because the defendant was a juvenile at the time of the offence and he further reduced it by 25 per cent as he pleaded guilty at the plea and case management hearing.

Recorder MacAdam added: “You are entitled to be released today. You will serve the remainder of your sentence in the community and will be subject to licence conditions.”

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