Teen almost died after fellow care home residents forced him to take ‘legal high’ at knifepoint

'Black Mamba' or 'Mamba' is a synthetic version of cannabis.
'Black Mamba' or 'Mamba' is a synthetic version of cannabis.

A pair of teenagers forced a fellow care home resident to take a former so-called ‘legal high’ at knifepoint to the extent that he collapsed and almost died.

The duo, both 17, had previously robbed their victim with a 6-inch knife but returned to his room the following day and handed him the now-illegal drug, called ‘Black Mamba’.

One of them even brought with him a bin as he knew what the effects of it might be as at the time he was “heavily involved” in smoking the drug.

But Derby Crown Court heard how their victim, who was younger than both of the defendants, collapsed and an ambulance was called.

The pair, whose names and addresses cannot be published due to a court reporting restriction, were arrested, charged and denied they were involved in either incident.

But a jury convicted both of them of robbery and a charge of administering a noxious substance to another person.

However even at their sentencing hearing one of the pair continued to deny the charges.

Jailing one of them for two-and- a-half- years and the other for two years, Judge Robert Egbuna said: “First you went to his room and robbed him at knifepoint.

“Anyone who is faced with the sight of a knife with a six-inch blade would be petrified.

“But then you went back to his room the next day, again armed with a knife, and forced him to take so-called Black Mamba.

“You were both heavily involved with that at the time and you knew what the effects of it would be.

“One of you even took a bin into the room with you because you knew the effect could be that he would throw up.

“He took it, he collapsed and you both panicked.

“An ambulance was called, he was on the verge of a cardiac arrest.

“He was a young man that almost died.”

The offence happened at a north Derbyshire care home in 2015 where the three teens were living at the time and which cannot also be named due to a reporting restriction.

The defendants robbed the victim of cash over a cannabis debt with an unnamed female but returned with the ‘Black Mamba’ and the knife the next day.

Judge Egbuna told the pair: “You effectively bullied him into taking it and he literally had a cardiac arrest.

“You then denied it, you took it to trial and one of you has shown no remorse at all, continuing to deny it.”

Gurdial Singh, prosecuting, read out a victim impact statement made by the victim.

In it he said: “I now suffer night terrors and they are horrible.

“People did not believe that I did not take the drugs myself (on my own accord).

“I don’t know why they did it to me.”

Katrina Wilson, for one of the teens, said her client first saw it “as a joke that went wrong” but now “shows remorse” for what he did.

Gregor Purcell, the other one, said his client now had a job as a roofing apprentice and remains in the care of a children’s charity.

Judge Egbuna said: “I know this sentence will be upsetting to some people in the public gallery but there was a young man that almost died as a result of these actions.”