A ROBBER wept as he was spared jail for his part in a gang attack on two teenage boys.

Ross Graham admitted robbery and attempted robbery in Queens Road, Brighton.

With a gang of five others, Graham boasted about having a “Rambo knife”.

The group surrounded the two young men, who The Argus has chosen not to name, and demanded cash and jewellery.

One gang member brandished a knife as the £30 necklace was taken from one of the teenage boys.

A woman who stepped in was told: “Don’t tell the police, if we see you around here again we are going to f*** you up.”

The gang laughed as they walked away.

One of the boys, aged 17, was left shaking and afraid from the attack.

At Lewes Crown Court, Judge Christine Laing QC was told Graham, 18, has seven previous convictions for 24 offences.

But she imposed a two-year suspended sentence because of Graham’s tough background growing up in care.

The judge was told that Graham had struggled to cope with the death of his mother from cancer and had got in with the wrong crowd.

Yet Naomi Edwards, prosecuting, said the usual starting point for robbery was five years in jail, with the guidance for the lowest sentence at four years.

She said the crime happened at 9pm on February 2 this year in Queens Road.

The two boys were surrounded despite trying to walk away and saying they did not want any trouble.

One boy managed to get away and call the police, so the group turned on the other boy.

A woman stepped in to stop the robbery.

Sarah Thorne, defending, said her client has struggled to cope with news of his mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis.

She said: “These were incredibly difficult problems to deal with. He is not trying to justify his behaviour, he should never have got involved.

“His behaviour was appalling and he acknowledges that.”

Graham, of Lower Rock Gardens, Brighton, admitted robbery and attempted robbery.

Judge Laing QC told him she feared his crimes were escalating, despite previous work to stop his offending.

She told him: “You made those boys feel as vulnerable as they possibly could.

“You were trying to steal their hard earned property, it was utterly disgraceful.

“Against that, you have an extremely troubled background, but you cannot keep using those excuses. You are an adult, and have to grow up.”