Fury over knife thug's jail term

A KNIFE-wielding raider who was told to expect a life sentence after threatening a terrified female shop worker with a blade will be out of jail in just 18 months, it has emerged.

A KNIFE-wielding raider who was told to expect a life sentence after threatening a terrified female shop worker with a blade will be out of jail in just 18 months, it has emerged.

On May 6 this year Tony Robinson, 20, of Church Hall Court in Parkeston Road, Harwich, went armed with a knife into the Swagman shop in Old Road, Clacton, and demanded 50-year-old Glynis Currell put the shop's money in a bag.

Mrs Currell, who was stacking shelves at the time, sprayed glitter into Robinson's eyes and fled to nearby estate agency Sheens, also in Old Road, Clacton.

Robinson was then pursued through the Warwick Castle car park site by estate agent Scott Sheen, who managed to track him down to a garden near Meredith Road, in Clacton. Mr Sheen kept Robinson there until the police arrived.


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When he admitted the offence of attempted robbery in July this year, he was told to expect a life sentence by the judge who heard the case.

But yesterday at Chelmsford Crown Court, Judge Christopher Ball QC jailed Robinson - who was previously imprisoned for 18 months for a wounding offence involving a knife - for four years.

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Judge Ball QC told Robinson he would deduct the 162 days he has already served whilst awaiting sentence from the total - meaning he could be back out on the streets in just 18 months.

Mrs Currell, who was told of the sentence given to Robinson by the EADT yesterday, slammed the length of the jail term, branding it “disgusting”.

She said: “If he is coming out in just 18 months' time then it is not a very good situation. It is disgusting.

“The only reason I escaped was that I sprayed him in the eyes with hair glitter. It was a natural reaction.

“It affected me greatly at the time and I lost £600 on a holiday because I could not bring myself to go on holiday at the time.

“I've not received any support as a result of this attack from anybody.”

Judge Ball QC told Robinson: “You targeted a single woman, vulnerable in a shop, threatening her with a knife.

“You do pose a significant risk of re-offending in a dangerous way I have to impose a sentence of public protection.

“Nobody really knows why you did it and therein lies the real concern for the future.”

David Millen, mitigating, said Robinson, who used a kitchen knife in the attack at the Swagman shop, planned to become a chef when he is eventually released.

He added: “When he is not drinking and when he is close to with his family he is a respectable young man.”

Judge Ball QC awarded Mr Sheen a £500 reward for putting “public spiritedness” before regard for “personal safety”.

Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Sheen played down his own heroism saying: “It was not as brave as it sounds.”

On learning about the reward, Mr Sheen said: “That's nice. I didn't know about that so it has made my day. Let's hope Mr Robinson keeps his nose clean from now on.”

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