A prolific and violent criminal who robbed three girls at knifepoint in Rochester is starting a long prison sentence.

Police reported that on 15 October 2022, Luke Slater approached the victims in a wooded area near Ethelbert Road and asked them the time. When one of them got her phone out to check, Slater pulled out a knife and threatened them. He then took phones from two of them and chased the third girl who tried to run away, before stealing her phone, some cash and a ring.

The incident was reported to the police and on 16 November, the robber was arrested at an address in Dagenham, Greater London. Investigators also seized clothing he had been wearing when fleeing the scene of the robberies on a bike.

Luke Slater LATEST
Luke Slater

Slater, from St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex was selected in an identification procedure and charged with three robberies. He was also charged with six counts of theft from shops in City Way, Delce Road and the High Street, between 5 and 21 October.

Slater pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court to the thefts but denied robbing the three girls or making threats with an offensive weapon. He was subsequently convicted of these charges on 18 May 2023, following a trial. In sentencing Slater on Monday 22 April 2024, the judge found him to be dangerous, with a propensity to violence and substance misuse. The 32-year-old was given an extended sentence of 12 years and six months. Eight and a half years’ of this will be in prison and Slater will have to serve at least two thirds before being eligible for parole. On his release, a further four years will be completed on licence.

Detective Constable Matthew Wadhams, of the Kent Crime Squad, said:

‘Slater is a violent criminal who thought nothing of making violent threats to steal other people’s property. The robbery he committed on three young girls was truly despicable and cowardly. He should be thoroughly ashamed of his actions.

‘In complete contrast, his young victims showed considerable courage in assisting our investigation and providing evidence for the subsequent trial. Their role was key to ensuring this prolific offender is no longer a danger to the residents of Medway.’

By Ed

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