'You are imprisoned… until it is safe for you to be released'
A MUGGER who threatened to kill a city student after stealing his mobile phone has been jailed until he can prove he no longer poses a threat to society.
Jason Phillips, 21, committed the crime while on licence from prison for offences including the brutal robbery and sexual assault of a 63-year-old woman at her Devon home.
He was described as "clearly dangerous" by Judge Phillip Wassall when he appeared before Exeter Crown Court.
The latest offence happened in Bury Meadow Park last November. Exeter College student Christos Demetriov, who is Bulgarian, was waiting for a friend when he was approached by Phillips. Lee Bremridge, prosecuting, said: "Phillips asked him for the time and Mr Demetriov took out his mobile phone. Phillips said 'give it to me' and then produced a lock-knife and threatened to stab him."
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The student handed over his phone, worth £600, and £24 in cash. Phillips, who had been living in Howell Road, Exeter, then said he would "kill" Mr Demetriov if he told anyone what had happened before leaving.
Police arrested Phillips who initially claimed a friend may have been responsible but later accepted his guilt when the student was able to identify him.
Mr Bremridge outlined Phillips' previous convictions which included a similar street robbery in May 2008, as well as an assault and the sexual assault and robbery of the 63-year-old in 2009 for which he received a jail term of seven and a half years. He had been released this year on a licence that was due to expire in 2017.
Sentencing Phillips, Judge Wassall said: "You threatened to kill the student if he told anyone. He is now looking over his shoulder whenever he goes out.
"This is the third robbery you have committed of a serious and grave nature. The pre-sentence report I have before me concludes that there is a high risk that you will commit further violent offences – and I agree."
He told Phillips that he was going to give him an indeterminate sentence, which means he will be imprisoned until a parole board deems him fit to be released.
He added: "The indeterminate sentence has a minimum tariff of two years but I want to make it clear that I am not giving you a two-year sentence. I have come to the regretful conclusion that you must be kept in custody until the parole board are satisfied you are no longer a high risk.
"You are imprisoned for as long as it takes until you are safe to be released. This is the equivalent of a discretionary life sentence."
Martin Salloway, defending, had told the court to consider Phillips' age when determining a sentence and added that the robbery had caused little long-term distress to the victim. He added that Phillips was working well with the authorities in jail to address his behaviour.