THREE teenagers are awaiting sentencing after admitting their part in a robbery in Trowbridge earlier this year where two men were stabbed.

Ethan Bush, 18, of Chesterfield Road, in Mansfield, and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty during a hearing at Salisbury Crown Court on Monday.

Bush pleaded guilty to armed robbery with a knife and the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to robbery.

A 16-year-old, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, had previously pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent, robbery and possession of a bladed weapon.

All three have been remanded in custody to await sentencing on December 16.

The court heard violence broke out on the night of February 13 when the two victims, men in their 20s, had arranged to meet the three defendants in Biss Meadows to sell them drugs.

However, the meeting had actually been arranged with the intention of robbing the victims of their money and drugs.

During the robbery, which happened on the bridge between Biss Meadows and the Tesco supermarket in County Way, both victims were stabbed.

The case officer, CID Detective Constable Becky Taylor, said: “We know that this case caused understandable concern amongst the local community in Trowbridge and we hope that this successful conviction brings some reassurance that the police are working hard to solve these crimes and bring offenders to justice.

“This investigation is particularly shocking due to the young age of the three defendants.”

Acting Detective Sergeant Ted Roe, from CID, worked on the case as part of an operation set up to tackle knife crime and youth violence in the Trowbridge area.

He said: “It is important to note that this was not a random attack – it was targeted specifically against people that the trio knew to be selling drugs, and there is nothing to suggest there was any risk to the wider community.

“However, the level of violence that these three teenagers were willing to engage in is extremely worrying.

“Wiltshire Police is continuing to work hard with partner agencies to educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives.

“This is not something the police can do alone – we all need to work together to make our communities safer.”

The attack earlier this year has been followed by a string of knife crimes in the town, with one of the Tesco victims being attacked for the second time just three months later.

Once out of hospital after the first incident Saleem Ayoub sustained facial injuries following an attack in Market Street in May.

A 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm but police said this week that no charges had yet been brought in connection with the incident.

Mr Ayoub’s brother told the Wiltshire Times then that they feared for his life after he had gotten involved with the wrong people and become addicted to drugs.

He said: “My brother has had an operation on his face and he is going to be OK. I haven’t been to see him in hospital yet. I have had to distance myself from him because of his drug problem.

“My family are coping but we weren’t surprised this has happened again because of his lifestyle. I don’t think there is a need for anyone to carry knives on the streets to protect themselves.”