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Ashford robber jailed for nine years

Ashford robber jailed for nine years
A knife wielding robber who threw a chocolate bar at a shop keeper before stealing £300 in cash has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment.

Lee Sullivan, 30 and of no fixed address, carried out the robbery at a store in Ashford in May 2017 and went on to discard a dark jumper and balaclava in a nearby alleyway.

These items of clothing, which were captured on the shop’s CCTV, provided officers with a forensic match for Sullivan however he denied his involvement.

A jury subsequently found him guilty of robbery and threatening a person with a knife and he was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday 31 January 2018.

Dressed in black

The court heard that the robbery took place shortly before 10.30pm on 4 May.

Prior to entering the store Sullivan, who was dressed in black and wearing a balaclava, was seen by a witness hiding behind cars in Beaver Road before entering the newsagent.

Once inside he walked up behind a member of staff at a newsagent and threatened them with a retractable knife.

He then ordered the victim to go to the till and hand over all the money inside however, when they got to the till, the shop assistant was unable to open it.

Sullivan then threw a packet of curly wurlys at the victim and demanded the shop worker scan it so the till could then be opened.

The contents were then passed into a carrier bag and Sullivan fled the scene on foot.

Officers attended within three minutes of the call being received but the offender had already left, heading in the direction of a nearby lake.

An analysis of CCTV was unable to identify a clear suspect however the clothing worn by the offender had been found in a nearby alley, with the knife still up the sleeve.

The clothing was forensically examined and provided a forensic match for Lee Sullivan, who was subsequently arrested.

He initially denied his involvement in the robbery and claimed that the clothing had actually been used in a sex game.

Brazen and malevolent

Detective Inspector Cara Ferguson, a senior investigating officer for this case, said: ‘This was a brazen and malevolent robbery carried out by a man who has shown himself to be a clear threat to society.

‘He subjected to the victim to a terrifying ordeal and then repeatedly denied the offence, despite the conclusive evidence against him.

‘Ashford is safer with Sullivan in custody and I hope this sentence provides closure for the victim.’

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