Three baby-faced thugs have been locked up after a vicious summer crime spree where they lured taxi and food delivery drivers to a series of machete robberies.
The teenagers were part of a gang that terrorised Blackley and Middleton over three months, attacking their terrified victims and taking their cash and cars.
Now Kyle Cheetham, 17, Declan Steele, 15, and Kye Harrison, 14, have been handed detention orders over the crime spree in north Manchester between July and September 2018.
They can be named by the Manchester Evening News after a judge lifted reporting restrictions.
Prosecutor Anya Horwood told Manchester Crown Court during their sentencing on Tuesday: "The offending involved a deliberate targeting of taxi drivers and food delivery drivers who were responding to telephone requests for service.
"The defendants would wait for the arrival of the driver and then threaten or assault the victim with weapons, demanding money and keys. On two occasions knives were used to inflict injury.
"The offences occurred at night time, when the victim was isolated and the defendants attacked as a group."
The trio were brought to justice thanks to a combination of forensic and telephone evidence.
Harrison was caught after becoming trapped in a car being chased by police.
The trio were responsible, as part of a larger gang of thugs, for 18 crimes, including robbery and two woundings. The court heard details of an horrific catalogue of offences.
A taxi driver was called to Plant Hill medical centre in Blackley at 8.30pm on July 4, 2018, only to be accosted by five males all dressed in dark clothing.
Three of them got in the rear and one into the front passenger seat, demanding money and laughing when they saw their victim was afraid.
When they got out, the gang pelted the fleeing taxi with stones. Police discovered Harrison had made the original call for the taxi.
Harrison was involved in another attack on a taxi driver who was called to an address in Blackley at 2am on July 29. There, a male opened the taxi door and pressed a six-inch knife to his throat, taking £120 cash.
A second male appeared with another knife, pointing it to the driver's head. The victim later told police later he suffers flashbacks of the attack.
Another attack on a taxi driver, this time involving Harrison and Cheetham, took place at 11.15pm on July 30, 2018, when the driver was called to an address in Blackley.
The court heard how a male armed with a knife opened a door and told the driver: "Give me everything you have."
The driver pleaded not to be hurt but two others, wearing balaclavas and brandishing 14-inch knives, got in.
Cheetham, Harrison and Steele denied ever carrying knives themselves but admitted taking part in the armed raids as part of a joint enterprise.
The victim, who was 'scared for his life', emptied his pockets and handed over the contents but, as he tried to escape, he was punched in the face. The gang fled with £60 cash and his keys.
The driver later told police he felt he was lucky to survive.
The gang, again with Harrison and Cheetham involved, then attacked a taxi driver who was only six months into his job and had been called to a fare in Blackley just before midnight on July 31.
He was accosted by three masked males shouting 'where is the money?'.
The driver feared the pair had a gun and told how they took his phone, £80 cash and his car keys.
Another attack happened later the same night when a taxi driver was called to a house in Middleton. Three males approached and the suspicious driver locked his doors, only for one masked figure to try to get in. Cheetham had been involved in calling the taxi, the police later discovered.
The gang struck a third time that night, luring another taxi driver who was two weeks into the job into their trap in Middleton. One of the gang, armed with a nine inch knife, threatened to kill the driver, pointing the blade at his body. The knifeman rifled his pockets, ordered the driver out of his vehicle before the gang fled in it.
The three defendants were then involved in an attack on a food delivery driver at 1am on August 30 as he removed food from the rear of his Toyota Yaris following a delivery to Blackley.
One of the attackers pulled a 14in machete from his waistband while another demanded 'give me the f***ing food'.
The driver collapsed after he was struck to the shoulder by the machete as he fumbled for the cash and phone in his pocket. The gang fled with £50 cash, the bags of food and his car.
Their victim needed six stitches for a knife wound. He continues to suffer nightmares and flashbacks and struggles to sleep at night, the court was told.
The Yaris was later found by police, who discovered fingerprints belonging to Cheetham and Steele in the vehicle.
The gang struck again the next day, attacking a member of staff after he left Spice World takeaway in Blackley at 11pm to make a nearby delivery.
When he arrived, he was threatened by three males wearing gloves and armed with knives before making off with £100 cash and his car.
Another food delivery driver was targeted on September 2 after he went to an address in Blackley.
Three males armed with knives threatened him, the court heard. When he picked up the youngest, the victim was stabbed in the side. The gang took the victim's car, cash, cards and personal documents.
Later that night police pursued a Toyota Yaris which had been stolen in an earlier incident, now on false plates. The car crashed and three males fled. Harrison, who had hurt his ankle in the crash, was arrested in the car. He had a balaclava with him and police found a hammer under a seat.
Officers found a second vehicle, a Nissan Micra, which had been seen with the Yaris, later that night.
Slices of pizza were found on board and fingerprints for all three defendants were found in the car.
Even after he had been arrested and released under investigation, Harrison was involved in more crime.
On September 12, he pulled a machete on another victim who tried to dodge the blade but he was slashed on the arm.
The court heard Harrison had three convictions for six offences including conspiracy to burgle, racially aggravated assault, threatening behaviour, criminal damage, affray and possessing an offensive weapon.
He avoided custody for all but one of the crimes and was instead handed referral orders. Steele and Cheetham had no previous convictions, cautions or reprimands on their records.
Defending Cheetham, barrister Thomas McKail said his client, who was 16 at the time he committed his crimes, had spend six months on remand at Wetherby young offenders' institution, a period which had been 'extremely difficult and trying' for his client.
It had allowed him 'to reflect on his truly appalling behaviour'.
Mr McKail pointed out his client had 'apologised fully' to probation workers for his behaviour and had admitted his crimes.
The court heard that, in his basis of plea, the defendant had said he had never been armed with a knife.
Despite being a child, he had gone off the rails after splitting up with his long-term girlfriend, said Mr McKail.
He had been 'trying to forge his identity on the streets', it was said.
Cheetham had a cannabis habit, admitting he would buy the drug 'in bulk' and then sell to a small group of customers for profit. He was said to be 'easily led' and had yearned a 'sense of belonging'.
Defending Kye Harrison, who wore a suit in the dock, John Kennerley said his client was 14 and 'less culpable' than his co-defendants.
The court heard that Harrison had a troubled family background and his grandmother, who was in court, was 'left to pick up the pieces'.
Paul Dockery, defending Steele, said his client had only just turned 15 when he committed the crimes and had never had a knife during any of the attacks.
Judge Driver QC said the court had the 'unhappy task' of sentencing three such young defendants.
He pointed out that an adult facing any one of the robbery charges would be looking at up to eight years behind bars.
The judge, addressing Cheetham, said he was encouraged by what he had read in a pre-sentence report that the defendant was continuing his studies, was hoping for a career and had a 'supportive family'.
Harrison had already served one short custodial sentence, noted the judge, and his case was aggravated because he had committed another crime while under investigation by the police.
The judge said Steele had been 'working hard' at his studies and had been 'easily led' and had played a 'lesser role' in the crimes.
He lifted reporting restrictions so the trio can be named.
Harrison, of Rochdale Road in Blackley, was handed a three-and-a-half year detention in custody after he admitted six robberies, seven counts of possessing an offensive weapon, theft, and two counts of wounding.
Cheetham, of Alworth Road in Blackley, was given a four-and-a-half year detention in custody after he pleaded guilty to six counts of robbery, one of attempted robbery, five counts of possessing an offensive weapon and two woundings.
Steele, of Riverdale Road in Blackley, was given given a two-year detention and training order after he admitted three robberies, having an offensive weapon and wounding.
As Steele, who was said to have autism and special educational needs, was handed his sentence, his father shouted to the judge: "How can you justify that? He's got autism. You could have said 'let's get a doctor to see him' but, no, you just passed sentence."