‘Sensless yobs’ rob child of family heirloom and threaten to cut finger off in Haywards Heath park

Mark Brazil, left, and Benjamin Taylor-Baker, right Credit:

Two men have been described as ‘senseless yobs’ after subjecting a teenage boy to a humiliating attack. 

Mark Brazil, 23, of Lloyd Road, Chichester and Benjamin Taylor-Baker, 26, of Francis Close, Haywards Heath approached the victim, separating him from his friends, before asking to borrow his £500 gold ring belonging to his late grandfather. 

When the teenager, who was 16 at the time refused, he was tripped to the floor by Brazil who then grabbed him by the throat and threatened to cut his finger off.

Taylor-Baker then demanded the boy remove his clothes and shoes before threatening to stab the victim if his friend did not punch him.

Both were charged with robbery and common assault, following the attack at Clair Park in Haywards Heath in October 2020.

Investigating officer Lauren Chapman, of Sussex Police West Sussex CID, said: “This was a truly humiliating incident for the victim and his friends, who were forced to follow orders from Brazil and Taylor-Baker out of fear of violence.

“It was a completely unprovoked attack on a group of innocent young people who were simply minding their own business, and it goes far beyond bullying.

“The ring was of huge sentimental value to the victim, being an heirloom piece, and it was the first time he had worn it in pubic. It is a loss which is far greater than the cost value.”

After the trial ended on June 17th, Brazil was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and given an eight-year restraining order whilst Taylor-Baker was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and also given an eight-year restraining order.