TWO teenagers lured an autistic teenager to a park and robbed him off his phone and valuables while armed with a machete.

Blayde Parker, from Leigh, and Ashley Lowen, from Rayleigh have both been sent to a young offenders institute after robbing their victim in a park near Rayleigh town centre.

The pair of 18-year-olds convinced the victim to meet them in the park under the premise of buying a cannabis grinder, however they robbed him of his iPhone, Apple AirPods, and other valuables.

During the incident, Lowen brandished a machete.

Both defendants initially denying involvement. However, following mobile footage evidence they pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

Janaka Siriwardena, prosecuting, said: “We say there was significant planning involved in this incident as the victim was lured after contact.

“Both defendants concealed their identities as they were wearing either balaclavas or hoods and it was in a play area of a public park.

“A victim impact statement was also provided detailing the aftermath of the situation.”

Mr Siriwardena read out the victim impact statement to the court in which the victim spoke of his anger, anxiety, mental health issues and lack of trust towards everyone including his family following the incident.

Jessica Ward, mitigating for Parker, said: “In a letter Mr Parker says he is sincerely sorry for his actions, he knew it was wrong but still did it and has no-one to blame for his actions but himself.”

Danielle Byford represented Lowen in court.

She said: “Mr Lowen accepts the entirety of the conduct seen in the footage, it’s an unpleasant incident and something he’s regretted since that day.”

“Mr Lowen adds there was no plan to lure the victim to the park, only to meet, and he feels 20 times worse knowing he was vulnerable.”

Recorder Angela Frost handed Parker of Treecot Drive, Leigh, a three year sentence and Lowen, of Worcester Drive, Rayleigh, a two year and four month sentence.

Both will serve the sentences at a young offenders institutions.