Balaclava-wearing thugs on bikes targeted lone man, but ended up paying the price

Police custody photographs of David Parsons (left) and Jordan Chapman
-Credit: (Image: South Wales Police)

Two balaclava-wearing thugs on bicycles attacked a man walking to meet friends and tried to rob him of his phone, a court has heard. When David Parsons and Jordan Chapman were tracked down thanks to eagle-eyed CCTV operators police recovered a knife with a 20cm-long blade from a backpack.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the attempted robbery happened in Cardiff city centre on the night of March 1 this year as the victim was walking along the pedestrianised Barrack Lane near Cardiff's St David's shopping centre on his way to meet friends. Kathryn Lane, prosecuting, said the man heard shouting from behind him and turned around to see two balaclava-wearing men on bicycles. The man continued walking and looking at his phone but Parsons and Chapman rode up to him and confronted him. The pair got off their bikes and demanded their victim had over his phone before one of them - it is not known which - grabbed him by the throat and took him to the pavement. The victim was pinned to the floor and the defendants continued to demand he hand over his mobile but the man refused.

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The court heard the attack came to an end when the victim called out to a passing food delivery biker, and Parsons and Chapman got back on their cycles and rode away. The victim got to his feet and went to a pub where door staff contacted the police. The prosecutor said CCTV operators then began searching the city centre for the defendants and the pair were spotted near the Vue Cinema next to the Principality Stadium. Officers were dispatched to the area and arrested them. The court heard that when Parsons was searched a set of weighing scales and a knife with a 20cm-long blade were found in his backpack, and when Chapman was searched a quantity of cannabis in ready-to-sell wraps was found along with £700 in cash and a burner phone. When the mobile was examined police found "text bombs" had been sent out to dozens of contacts including one sent on the evening of the attempted robbery advertising the fact the dealer was "active till late" and had stains of weed available including "fire", "cherry dog" and "ammo".

David Johnathan Parsons, aged 36, of Ninian Park Road, Canton, Cardiff, and 27-year-old Jordan Chapman, of, Pontcanna, Cardiff, had both previously pleaded guilty to attempted robbery when they appeared in the dock for sentencing. Parsons had also previously pleaded guilty to possession of a knife in a public place and Chapman to possession of cannabis with intent to supply. Parsons has 21 previous convictions for 41 offences including thefts, burglary, and an attempted robbery committed when he was a juvenile. Chapman has 18 previous convictions for 31 offences including theft, theft from the person, criminal damage, assaulting an emergency worker, and multiple assaults by beating. For the latest court reports, sign up to our crime newsletter here

William Bebb, for Parsons, said the defendant had spent many years going in and out of prison and was, in his own words, "fed up with himself". He said after being released from his last custodial sentence in 2020 Parsons had found some stability in his life and was ashamed and remorseful to find himself back before the courts. Derrick Gooden, for Chapman, said his client's antecedent record showed him to be a thief, and he said there were no previous drug trafficking offences on his record. He said the defendant had been operating as a street dealer of cannabis and "knew what he was selling, and knew who he was selling it to".

With a one-quarter discount for his guilty to plea to attempted robbery Recorder Christian Jowett sentenced Parsons to 15 months in prison, and with a one-third discount for his guilty plea he sentenced Chapman to 16 months in prison. Parsons was also sentenced to four months custody for possession of the knife to run concurrently, and Chapman to six months custody to run concurrently for possession of cannabis with intent to supply. The defendants will serve up up half their respective sentences in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.

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