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15 September 2016, 12:33
Two men have been jailed for more than four years each for a robbery where a shop keeper had a knife held to his throat in Dartford.
James Harris and Bradley Hughes targeted the grocery store in in Fleet Avenue on 26 June, 2016. They entered at around 9pm, wearing hooded tops to hide their faces.
Harris, of Olive Road, Dartford, pulled a knife from a carrier bag and demanded money from the till. At the same time Hughes, formerly of Hesketh Avenue, Dartford waited at the shop entrance and held open the door.
The shop keeper tried to defend himself with a hockey stick he kept in the shop, but it was snatched away from him. After emptying the till, Harris held a knife to the victim’s throat and demanded he also hand over any coins. Harris then snatched a bottle of whiskey from the premises before both men fled the scene.
Detectives managed to identify Harris from CCTV stills and he was arrested along with Hughes the following day. Both men were then charged and remanded into custody. They were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on 12 September.
Harris, 22, was jailed for four years and nine months, after previously pleading guilty to charges of robbery and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place. He was also sentenced to a further 12 weeks for breaching a suspended sentence.
Hughes, 24, also pleaded guilty to charge of robbery, for which he was sentenced to four years and two months in prison. Hughes was given an additional six months for a breach of a suspended sentence.
Detective Constable Steve Brown said: "This would have been an incredibly frightening experience for both the shopkeeper and also a further victim who was helping out in the shop at the time. Harris and Hughes were intent on stealing every last penny from the till and their actions will no doubt have a profound effect on them for a long time indeed.
"Thankfully, we were able to quickly identity and arrest both offenders. I hope the significant sentences now passed by the courts provide some comfort to the victims in this case."