A masked and hooded thief who terrified shop staff by threatening them with a knife has been jailed for eight years.

On Sunday 8 November 2020 at around 7.30pm, Dean Hoskins walked into a shop in Newington Road, Ramsgate, went straight up to a shop worker and demanded money from the till.

He then grabbed her throat and threatened her with a blade.

The victim was able to briefly free herself and pressed the customer buzzer several times. This alerted another member of staff who suspected something was wrong. He ran to the front of the shop where he was confronted by Hoskins holding onto his colleague.

The man emptied both tills and handed over £250 in cash. Hoskins, aged 35, stuffed the notes in his pocket and immediately turned to leave, but not before swiping two packets of cigarettes and tobacco on his way out of the shop.

Image above shows Hoskins’ arrest and the CCTVKent Police

The victims called 999 and were able to describe Hoskins’ appearance to police, including the clothes he was wearing. CCTV footage was reviewed and a search was carried out in the local area but the culprit could not be found. Detectives launched an investigation and enquiries continued.

Almost two weeks later, on Friday 20 November, a man was detained in Ramsgate at around 2pm for an unrelated offence. The officer recognised the top that the man was wearing under his jacket, from the CCTV images he had seen from the robbery. They were exactly the same clothes as what Hoskins had been wearing that day, a green and white top, jeans and trainers. As such he was identified and arrested for the offence.

Hoskins, of Grange Road in Ramsgate, pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and possession of a knife. He was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday 18 June 2021.

Kent Police’s investigating officer, Detective Constable Andrew Palmer, said: ‘This was a terrifying ordeal for the people who were working that day and it is extremely lucky they weren’t injured. Hoskins has shown he is the type of person that will go to great lengths to steal, regardless of the consequences or the long-lasting effect his actions may have on innocent members of the public. No one should have to go to work and suffer an ordeal like this and thankfully the court has ensured Hoskins has received a significant sentence for his crimes.’

By Ed

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