All he wanted was a little dope

De Grey Street. Photo: Syd Young

De Grey Street. Photo: Syd Young

An unnamed philosophy student was assaulted and robbed at home by men who had offered to sell him cannabis. He had been in the smoking area of the popular Hull nightspot, Tofts, when he observed three men smoking a J. He approached them and enquired where he could purchase some. Two of the men, 25-year-old Colin Corbet and 21-year-old Darby Owen, claimed to have some in their possession. The two parties agreed to relocate to the student’s flat, leaving the establishment shortly after midnight.

Back to the flat

The third man left the group at Hessle Road in the city centre. The others stopped at a garage on Beverley Road, where the student paid for beer. They then all returned to the abode of the victim on de Grey Street. Corbet asked to use the student’s computer to check Faceache. Owen and Corbet shared cannabis and cocaine with the student.

The crime unfolds

The student was sitting on a sofa when Owen stood before him and exclaimed: ?Now you’re fucked!? Michele Stuart-Lofthouse, prosecuting, told how Owen then assaulted him, ?striking him hard? on the mouth. The student’s next recollection was standing in the doorway betwixt his lounge and dining room, ?dripping with blood? and in ?severe pain.? His flat-screen television, computer monitor and iPhone had been purloined. No estimation of the cost of the telly was given in court, but the monitor was worth ?400 and the iPhone, ?600. A taxi collected Owen and Corbet at 4am, with the driver noticing that one was bearing a sizeable, flat-screen TV, as one does.


Having been assaulted, the student took himself to Hull Royal Infirmary to receive five stitches to his tongue and seven to his lip. He was left in pain for days and his lack of monitor impeded his studies.

At Hull Crown Court, the pair of criminals pleaded guilty: Corbet to theft and Owen to robbery ? he stole from and assaulted his prey. Corbet, who resides on Ashfield Road, Liverpool, was of previous good character. Owen, of Fotherbie Garth, however, was patently not, boasting 20 prior offences. Paul Genney, defending Owen, painted the latter’s intake of alcohol, cannabis and cocaine as ?a heady combination,? which was unlikely to prove useful. Genney described his client as ?not unintelligent? and having ?something of a future,? with the teeny problem that ?he keeps getting into trouble.? Dale Brook, representing Corbet, once a welder, spoke of how he lived in Liverpool, was only in Hull for his court appearance and ?wants to get some work.?

Juge Jeremy Richardson QC packed Owen off to chokey for four years, deriding him for heaping ?shame upon your entirely respectable family.? Corbet escaped with a 15-month suspended sentence and 200 hours of unpaid toil. He is obliged to attend 20 days of rehabilitation and subject to an 8pm to 6am curfew for four months.

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