Jailed: Robber who tied belt around victim’s throat in Digbeth

Lee Brend – picture from West Midlands Police
A robber tied a belt around the neck of his victim and dragged him along the ground in a brutal late night attack.
Lee Brend, 28, was fleeing police for an affray in Digbeth when he came across his drunk victim sitting in the street.
Birmingham Crown Court heard how the dad-of-two set about the man in his early 20s, twice wrapping his belt around the victim’s throat and dragging him along the road.
He robbed him of a passport and mobile phone, which were later found dumped in the street, and a bangle.
The welder, of Landrail Walk, Chelmsley Wood, pleaded guilty to a count of affray and one of robbery.
Jailing him for three years on December 14, Judge Richard Bond said; “He was vulnerable that evening, he was a young man on his own who was drunk and so was easy pickings for you.
“Rather than just run away you thought it appropriate to rob a young man while he lay on the ground.
“It is a serious robbery.
“A weapon was produced and you used force resulting in injuries.
“What really concerns me is the use of the belt.
“You deliberately took the belt off his trousers and wrapped it around his neck and pulled him along the ground.
“He can be seen desperately trying to remove the belt because you were choking him, you must have been.
“It was an incredibly dangerous thing to do in my judgement

The court heard Brend was spotted on CCTV on a building site opposite Digbeth police station at 3.30am on June 28.
He was passing bricks and other building materials to his brother who was pelting another group of men with the missiles.
Hearing the noise, police left the station to end the fight and Brend fled.
Following the arrest of his brother police followed in Brend’s footsteps and found a man lying in the street.
An examination of CCTV captured Brend as he came across Joseph Gorton, who was drunk.
Christopher Lester, prosecuting, said; “The defendant comes upon Mr Gorton and at first appears to be tending to him.
“He then appears to be searching him, he gets his phone, then he starts to use force.
“He (Brend) pushed him into the roadway and grabbed the bracelet.”
It was then, Mr Lester said, Brend removed his belt and wrapped it around Mr Gorton’s throat.
“He continues pulling him along the ground, Mr Gorton is trying to get the belt off.”
After fighting free, Brend again wrapped the belt around his victim’s neck before eventually running away.
He later told cops he thought Mr Gorton was one of the group of men he claimed had attacked he and his brother during the earlier incident.
Mr Lester said Brend had a string of previous convictions for criminal damage and an offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm in 2010.
Joseph Keating, defending, said Brend was horrified when he saw on CCTV what he had done to Mr Gorton and was full of remorse.
He said; “He knows he has let himself down and his family.”
As he passed sentence Judge Bond said; “You know I have to send you to prison today for these two serious offences and I can’t suspend it.
“You have numerous convictions for criminal damage, you enjoy damaging property.
“Of course I am aware when I send people to prison it affects not just the offender but their nearest and dearest.
“Maybe in the future you will stay home in the middle of the night instead of going out drinking with your brother, stay at home and help care for them.
“You need to realise society does not accept people like you going out, getting drunk and committing serious offences and acts of violence.”

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