Raider chucked choco­late at vic­tims to get till open

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Shop Robber Jailed - By Paul Hooper

The vic­tim of a knife­point rob­bery in Ash­ford was so trau­ma­tised he quit his job.

Lee Sul­li­van, 30, went into the One Stop shop in Court Wurtin, off Beaver Lane, South Ash­ford armed with a Stan­ley knife.

Af­ter fright­en­ing staff, he threw a num­ber of Curly Wurlys at as­sis­tant Tom Cal­nan and or­dered him to scan them so the till would open.

Then the hooded rob­ber snatched up to £300 and fled, think­ing he had got away with the rob­bery.

But Can­ter­bury Crown Court heard the raider dumped the bal­a­clava and knife with his DNA all over the items nearby and they were found and recog­nised the fol­low­ing day in May last year.

Sul­li­van, of Tad­burn Green, Chatham, tried to ex­plain his DNA on the bal­a­clava by claim­ing he used it in a sex game.

He was jailed for nine years af­ter ad­mit­ting rob­bery and pos­sess­ing a knife in pub­lic.

He had failed to show up for a hear­ing last year and an ar­rest war­rant was is­sued.

Judge James O’Ma­hony told him it was re­mark­able he had been granted bail by mag­is­trates at the ear­lier hear­ing.

He had heard how Mr Cal­nan and his col­league, Sally-Ann Perkins, who had been the vic­tim of an ear­lier at­tack, had been work­ing in the shop when Sul­li­van ar­rived shout­ing and swear­ing at them.

The raid was caught on CCTV but Sul­li­van’s face was hid­den by the bal­a­clava. How­ever he had dis­carded the items where they were dis­cov­ered the fol­low­ing day.

The judge heard how Mr Cal­nan was so trau­ma­tised by the in­ci­dent he left his job.

Det Insp Cara Fer­gu­son, a se­nior in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer in the 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 the vic­tim to a ter­ri­fy­ing or­deal and then re­peat- edly de­nied the of­fence, de­spite the con­clu­sive ev­i­dence against him. Ash­ford is safer with Sul- li­van in cus­tody, and I hope this sen­tence pro­vides clo­sure for the vic­tim.”

Pic­ture: Kent Po­lice

Clock­wise from top left, the knife Lee Sul­li­van used, Lee Sul­li­van; CCTV footage of the rob­bery and judge James O’Ma­hony

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