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  Mobile muggers to go straight to prison
Updated 29 January 2002, 16.50
Prison for mobile muggers
Mobile thieves have been warned they could face new tough punishment for their crimes.

One of the UK's top judges, Lord Chief Justice Woolf, warned mobile muggers that if found guilty, they'll definitely go to prison.

Will tougher sentences cut crime? Click here to vote

Fact File
Phone theft facts
Mobile stolen every three minutes in UK
Average age of thief is 16
Up to half of phone theft victims under 18
Source: Home Office

And he said it wouldn't matter how old they were or whether they had committed any crimes before.

Lord Woolf talked about the new rules while he was at the Court of Appeal explaining why sentences for two 19-year-old phone robbers had been increased.

New rules

Lord Chief Justice Woolf
At the moment, the lowest prison sentence for those found guilty of theft is 18 months.

In the new rules, they could be in prison for up to three years if no weapons are involved and five years or more where weapons and violence are involved.

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More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutGuide to mobiles
ChatChat about mobiles
VoteVote: Will prison cut crime?
QuizMobile phone safety quiz
Club'I've had two mobiles stolen'
ClubMobiles: 'good for emergencies only'

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
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Mobile thefts rise hits children worst
Teenage thieves target mobile phones
Children get help to beat phone crime
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