A TEENAGER pulled a knife on a bus driver after he refused him a cigarette, a court heard.

On the same day, the 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, joined up with older accomplice Oliver Khosravi, to rob another victim, whose wallet was taken at knifepoint.

At Bolton Crown Court, Brian Berlyne, prosecuting, said the bus driver was taking his morning break at Bolton Interchange at around 8.45am on October 3 when he was approached by the boy, who was aged 15 at the time.

The teen asked for a cigarette but when the driver refused he squirted liquid from a bottle into his face.

CCTV footage played to the court showed the driver running towards him but the defendant punched him in the head and pulled out a knife, causing him to back away.

Two hours later, at around 11am, Mr Berlyne said that Dean Taylor was on his way to the post office, walking past Chorley New Road Primary School, Horwich, when his path was blocked by Khosravi and the defendant.

They demanded his wallet and Khosravi produced a large ‘Zombie’ knife from his jacket.

“He told Mr Taylor to give him the money or he would stab him,” said Mr Berlyne.

Mr Taylor gave the pair the PIN number for his bank card and, within minutes, two purchases, worth £16 were made.

An hour later security staff at Middlebrook retail park saw Khosravi hiding the knife behind a restaurant and his accomplice was caught hiding behind a bush, having hidden his weapon, described as a Bowie knife, under a car.

In a victim personal statements read to the court, the bus driver described how the incident had caused him to take two weeks off work and had left him contemplating leaving the job.

Mr Taylor said the robbery had caused a “devastating impact” on his mental health and left him suffering panic attacks.

In May this year, Khosravi,18, of Nuffield Close, Heaton, was jailed for nine years for the robbery of Mr Taylor along with three other street robberies in the Bolton area.

Ben Knight, defending, said the 16-year-old had come to the UK illegally when he was aged just one and had only been granted indefinite leave to remain in the country in 2014 following a long battle with the authorities.

“He was mercilessly bullied at school, which left a deep and lasting impact,” said Mr Knight. “Unfortunately there are those that prey on those who are young and isolated.”

Mr Knight went on to describe how the defendant, who pleaded guilty to robbery, assault and possession of a knife, had been exploited by organised crime groups which “look for people exactly like him” and use “peer influence, drugs and violence”.

“He is low hanging fruit,” said Mr Knight. “It’s not exploitation, it’s radicalisation.”

Passing sentence, Judge Graeme Smith, told the defendant: “You have had a number of challenges in your upbringing, including serious problems with bullying and being vulnerable to being exploited by older and more sophisticated people.

“This has led you into a lifestyle where this sort of activity was seen as normal or even glamorous.”

Judge Smith added: “The local authority has worked very hard to ensure your situation has changed and you now have positive hopes for the future including a keen interest in music.”

He made the teenager the subject of a two year youth rehabilitation order to include “extended and intensive supervision and surveillance.”

The defendant will also be forbidden to enter both Bolton Bus Interchange and Middlebrook retail centre.

“At the end of this you could emerge as a positive member of our society,” said Judge Smith. “The ball is in your court.”