Drunk Northampton robbers sentenced for drive-by mugging of tennis star

Keogh was jailed for three years six months, and banned from driving for a year after his release.
Keogh was jailed for three years six months, and banned from driving for a year after his release.

A pair of drive-by muggers have been jailed for robbing a young tennis star of her mobile phone as she was on her way to a tournament.

Michael Keogh and Nathan Pitt had just tried to snatch a phone from a 16-year-old boy when they saw 19-year-old player walking through the centre of Exeter with her mother.

Pitt was jailed for three years and five months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

Pitt was jailed for three years and five months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

Their car screeched to a halt just feet from her and Pitt jumped out of the passenger seat to grab her phone, which she had been using as a satnav to find the hotel where she was staying.

The robbers drove off but got lost in Exeter's one-way system and were followed by a police car when they went through a pedestrianised area of the High Street, which was packed with young people attending an outdoor music event.

Keogh sped off but lost control of the Fiat Punto outside Exeter Central Station and both men legged it after crashing into a parked car.

They had drunk vodka and smoked crack as they drove from Northampton to Cornwall and stopped off in Exeter to commit the robbery so they could restock.

Keogh sped off but lost control of the Fiat Punto outside Exeter Central Station and both men legged it after crashing into a parked car.

Keogh sped off but lost control of the Fiat Punto outside Exeter Central Station and both men legged it after crashing into a parked car.

Keogh initiated the first attempted robbery of a 16-year-old boy by driving onto the pavement at the edge of the Princesshay shopping centre and stopping next to the bench where he was sitting with his girlfriend.

The men demanded cigarettes and Pitt then jumped out and tried to grab the boy's phone while punching him in the face.

They reversed away empty handed but within a minute they spotted Miss Garshong, who was walking with a suitcase in Southernhay, having just arrived at the nearby bus station.

Every part of the incident on the night of October 2 last year was caught on CCTV, including the final moments when they crashed outside the station and fled on foot.

Keogh, aged 29, of Rochester Road, Northampton, denied attempted robbery and robbery but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court. He admitted failing to provide a breath test, leaving the scene of an accident and having no insurance.

Pitt, aged 29, of Bailey Street, Northampton, admitted robbery and attempted robbery.

Keogh was jailed for three years six months, and banned from driving for a year after his release and Pitt was jailed for three years and five months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told them:"It is likely you came to Exeter because you wanted more drink or drugs. You were low on cash and were looking for someone to rob. Your intentions were perfectly plain.

"The victim and her mother were frozen in fear and shock. You two were acting as a team and both under the influence of intoxicants.

"There may not have been pre-planning of the specific offences but there was distinct premeditation."

Mr Richard Crabb, for Keogh, said he has a partner and three young children and had been led into the enterprise by Pitt.

Mr Peter Coombe, for Pitt, said he works as a builder and has used his time in prison since his arrest in October to get off drugs and take courses, which will enable him to stay out of trouble when he is released.