A teenage single mum mugged a pair of 13-year-old girls while pushing her four-month-old baby in a pram, a court heard.

Nineteen-year-old Maeve Dennehy, who is expecting another child, admitted holding one girl in a wrestling style leg lock and repeatedly kicking the other before running off with a mobile phone, wallet and bank cards pushing her baby in a pram.

Dennehy, who was 17 years old at the time, escaped being jailed at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to two charges of robbery at an earlier hearing.

Judge Ruth Downing, sentencing, said she recognised the attack was committed in a “peculiar fit of rage fuelled by drink”, noting Dennehy, from Carshalton, had just split up with the father of her child.

She said: “Mugging is an unpleasant, nasty crime. It’s too prevalent and it’s unpleasant for those involved.

“It’s particularly unpleasant when those involved are teenagers, and one is well aware that a great number of teenagers are preyed upon for their mobile phones.

“Until this incident you were a young woman of good character. That said I’m not a social worker, and it’s not my function to rearrange your life or assist you with the difficulties that arise when you have a baby as a teenager.”

The court heard that Dennehy and another teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had approached the girls in Beddington Park, Sutton, and engaged them in conversation, before demanding a mobile phone from one of them.

When the girl refused, she was pulled to the floor by her hair and kicked twice, while Dennehy grabbed hold and wound her legs around the other girl’s leg to stop her escaping.

She locked her arm around the girl’s neck and demanded the phone, before kicking the second girl “five or six times” and yanking a necklace from around her neck, breaking it.

Prosecuting, Sue Obeney said: “Both complainants managed to ring their parents and [one victim’s parents] arrived and drove around and both the defendants were found near to the Rose and Crown pub.

“Miss Dennehy was still with her four-month-old baby.

“In the interview Miss Dennehy did make full admission although ... she was not repentant.”

Dennehy was handed six months in a young offenders’ institute, suspended for two years, and ordered to attend supervision sessions with a probation order for the next 24 months.

Her co-defendant, who was sentenced on Friday, was handed an eight-month referral order.