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21 October 2016, 10:59
An armed robber who slashed a shopkeeper's face with a knife in Strood has been jailed for seven years.
Joseph Sharp, 33, who does not have a fixed address, also punched the man's wife and daughter before attempting to smash a till open with a baseball bat during the raid in July.
It was the second robbery he had attempted in the space of just over three hours, having also attacked a man in his car and threatened him with another knife.
He was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday 20 October having previously admitted both offences, in addition to two counts of possessing an offensive weapon.
The court heard how Sharp's first victim was sat in his vehicle on Canal Road, Strood, at about 2.45pm on the day in question when Sharp approached him and asked for the time.
Shortly afterwards he opened the passenger side door before demanding the man hand over his wallet and phone. The man refused and attempted to drive away but hit a wall due to Sharp having hold of the steering wheel.
The man got out of the car and went to run away but came back when he noticed Sharp rummaging through his belongings and stealing a washbag containing aftershave, a hairbrush, various sets of keys and a packet of cigarettes.
He was again confronted by Sharp who this time produced a knife from his sleeve, so ran away again.
At about 6.05pm the same day Sharp entered an off-licence and demanded that the couple working there open the till.
When they refused he began to assault them both, slashing the man's face with his knife. Their teenage daughter, who was also at the scene at the time, attempted to restrain Sharp but he freed himself by punching her several times in the face.
He then snatched a baseball bat from one of the victims and attempted to smash open the cash register but fled empty-handed when a customer entered the shop.
Shortly afterwards he was seen entering a property nearby, and upon police attendance items belonging to Sharp were found inside including the jacket he was wearing at the time of the offence with a knife in the pocket.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Nicola Lincoln said: 'Joseph Sharp is clearly a violent individual who takes desperate measures to get what he wants.
"While the items he managed to steal were of low value, he put his victims through what must have been traumatic ordeals and spared little thought for their welfare.
"Such offences must not be tolerated and he deserves to spend a significant period of time behind bars."