Teen robber who went on 24-hour crime spree brandishing two-foot machete is jailed

Will Metcalfe
Contributor
Leon Norman has been jailed for four years for a 24-hour crime spree which saw him threaten numerous people with a two-foot blade. (SWNS)

A teenage thug who viciously attacked a disabled pensioner during a 24 hour robbery spree armed with a huge machete has been jailed.

Leon Norman, 19, went on the rampage across Birmingham armed with the two-foot long blade on December 27 last year.

Birmingham Crown Court heard how he first approached a 73-year-old woman with a knife and demanded she hand over the keys to the Vauxhall Corsa she had just parked.

The brave victim tried to defend herself by hitting the violent yob with her walking stick outside the Swan Shopping Centre in the Yardley area of the city.

CCTV from a newsagent shows Norman brandishing the terrifying blade.

But Norman grabbed her and pushed her to the floor causing her to hit her head before stealing her car.

Within 24 hours, he had also threatened staff in two shops with a machete and attacked a postman in order to gain the keys to his van.

Norman, of no fixed abode, was later caught by police and pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, attempted robbery and affray.

On Friday he was jailed for four years for robbing the elderly woman, three years for attempted robbery, three years for robbery on the postman and 22 months for affray - all to run concurrently.

Norman was jailed for four years at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday. (PA)

The court heard Norman began the first of four violent attacks at around 9am when he approached a the OAP who had parked her specially-adapted mobility car.

The pensioner tried to pull him from the vehicle but Norman was too strong and pushed her away causing her to fall again.

Thinking he had got away with the Corsa, Norman sped off but hit a kerb, leaving the car undrivable. He then jumped into a white BMW 3 series that was following.

Less than 24 hours later, Norman was refused a sale of cigarettes at a Costcutters store in Small Heath, Birmingham.

The court heard he became verbally abusive to a shop worker and returned seconds later with a machete and smashed the glass door of the shop.

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He then travelled four miles up the road to a newsagent in Chelmsley Wood where he again brandished a machete and threatened the shop worker.

The shop worker pressed his panic alarm as Norman smashed the Perspex screen surrounding the till area and ran from the shop.

Within the hour, Norman travelled to Whittington Oval, Lea Hall, and set upon his next victim, a postman.

The postman, who was collecting mail from a post box, was approached by Norman and another man, who demanded the keys to his van.

He attempted to defend himself but dropped the keys after being punched by both offenders.

Detective Sergeant Tom Lyons, from West Midlands Police CID, said after the case: “Norman is a dangerous man who targeted several people within in short amount of time, including a vulnerable woman.

“Thanks to members of the public who were able to provide information on his whereabouts, Norman was arrested and will now face time behind bars.”