Teen 'quickly caught' after taking iPhone as he didn't know its PIN

Two teenagers have been sentenced after a petty argument in Liverpool City Centre spiralled into violence.

Souheib Alkhatib, and Mostafa Qarnoub, both 19, punched and kicked their 17-year-old victim after rowing with him in Chavasse Park at around 5pm on August 14 last year. Afterwards, they ran off with a jacket containing another man's £400 iPhone, which Qarnoub attempted to sell at a second-hand phone shop on Dale Street.

The incident was witnessed by police on CCTV, and the pair were arrested as they exited the shop at around 5.30pm.

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They both appeared at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday, June 17, where Qarnoub, of Downing Road, Bootle, pleaded guilty to assault causing action bodily harm and fraud. Alkhatib, of Breckfield Road North, Everton, pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Kate Morely, defending Qarnoub, said the teenager's behaviour was "out of character" as he had never been in trouble before. She said: "He is a young man and doesn't have emotional maturity, and regrets his actions. He was only 18 at the time. He didn't have the restraint not to react. He has had time to reflect and acknowledge that his response was unjustified. He wishes he could turn back the clock. In his own words, he has wasted a year of his life, and would behave very differently in the future."

Charles Lander, defending Alkhatib, said his client had suffered a difficult life, having been separated from his parents at a young age while travelling to the UK. It was heard the 19-year-old, who also has no previous convictions, had been attempting to break up the fight before getting involved himself.

Judge Gavin McBride said: "You were both involved in an assault on a victim. You were in a group that clearly was in a disagreement and words were said. Whatever was said didn't justify what you then did, and what you did was recorded on CCTV.

"Qarnoub, you first kicked out at another person and (the victim) attempted to intervene. Alkhatib, you then dragged him away, and I accept that's what you started to do, but you then both repeatedly punched him. Blows were raining down on him. When you ran off you also took a jacket containing the phone of another victim.

"It was an unprovoked, excessive, repeated punching by yourselves. The CCTV footage confirms you going to the store where you, Qarnoub, attempted to sell on the phone, but were quickly caught out as you couldn't get the PIN, as it wasn't your phone.

"The victim suffered injuries: swelling to the left eye, scratches to the face and swelling to the left shoulder, which must have been unpleasant for him."

He sentenced both men to community orders, with 20 rehabilitation days and 150 hours of unpaid work each.

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