A young man from Bury was a "follower more than a leader" in a group robbery, a court was told.

James Greaves is one of five men who were involved in the terrifying incident committed against a man on August 11 last year. 

At Bolton Crown Court on Friday, prosecutor Anthony Horsfall said the 22-year-old was part of the group who targeted the victim as they were driving in a car and saw him walking down a street in Bury at around 9.30am that day.

One of the group used a knife to force the victim into the boot of the car saying, “his brother was a snitch” and used his shoelaces to restrain him.

He was put into the boot with a zombie knife.

Greaves, of Grassington Court, Bury, was in the back of the car at the time and the victim was in the boot for around 45 minutes to an hour before they arrived at the Halo monument in Haslingden.

The court heard the victim was then forced to fight the group before he was punched to the floor and kicked and attacked for around 10 minutes.

The victim was then driven back to Bury, had his phone taken, was ordered to strip and demanded he pay £120, or he would be stabbed.

He managed to call a friend who helped get the money and Greaves and another of the group collected it.

The victim was then released but threatened that if he went to the police “his family would be hurt”.

On August 15 the car was spotted by police, pursued and stopped and all were arrested.

A statement from the victim said that since the attack, he feels down and he is scared to leave his home. He feels degraded and humiliated and has developed trust issues.

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Defending, Ellen Shaw said the fact that Greaves, who was aged 21 at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty to robbery is an indication of the genuine remorse he feels.

She said: “He’s a young man and lives in fear due to the consequences of what happened.

“He finds it difficult to come to terms with what happened and wishes he did more to help.

“He’s effectively ruined his life by the events and is terrified of going to custody.”

Greaves was diagnosed with ADHD aged 13 and helps with the care of his mother, who is of ill health.

Character references of Greaves were submitted to the court which described him as helpful, kind and caring and the incident is “wholly out of character for him”.

Judge Jon Close said Greaves was the only one who accepted his role and expressed sympathy for the victim and what he was subjected to.

He also added that Greaves was a lot less criminally sophisticated than the rest of the group and was “more of a follower than a leader” and “clearly out of his depth”.

Judge Close sentenced James Greaves to three years and seven months. He will serve half of that time in prison and the remainder on licence.

A 10-year restraining order has also been issued.