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Home Ashford News Article
A robbery victim turned detective and managed to track down one of the men who had mugged him.
Pawel Prusik had gone to his local pub for a drink a day after the attack in Ashford when a stranger began questioning about the incident.
As they were talking, Mr Prusik became suspicious as the man was quizzing him about if the robbery had been caught on CCTV.
It was then that the victim realised he recognised the voice as one of the gang of three who had frogmarched him to an ATM at knifepoint the night before.
And on the robber's neck was a tell-tale bruise that Mr Prusik had noticed during his beating.
The victim was told by bar staff the man, John Welsh, lived above the bar. Police were called and arrested him for the £90 robbery on November 30 last year.
Now the 32-year-old, of Station Road, Ashford has been jailed for six years - and the judge ordered he should have another three years added to his licence when he is released.
Prosecutor Alex Rooke told Canterbury Crown Court how Mr Prusik had gone to a kebab shop at 1.30am when Welsh and two others confronted him as he left.
"Welsh said they knew Mr Prusik had money and then produced a five-inch knife," he said. "The victim threw away his kebab and tried to run away, but fell and they began kicking him in the head and the back.
"As he stood up, Welsh punched him in the nose. The three then took him along Church Road to a bank cashpoint where he was forced to withdraw all his money, £80. They also took £10 in cash which had been in his wallet."
The prosecutor then said the gang threatened their victim not to report the incident - but Mr Prusik noticed one of the men had bruising to the side of his neck.
He added: "The following day in the evening the victim went to a bar when a man approached him and began asking questions about CCTV and the incident.
"At this point Mr Prusik realised that from the voice and the bruise to the stranger's neck that it was one of the men.
"They then went outside for a cigarette and Mr Prusik told him that he recognised him. Welsh appeared relaxed and said he was sorry and that he had been struggling and needed the money."
During his police interview, Welsh claimed he had admitted to the mugging to "empathise" with the victim.
But the court heard Welsh had previous convictions for robbery - including one with an identical modus operandi.
Judge Heather Norton said Welsh had spent the night drinking and taking drugs before the attack and still posed a risk to the public of committing more offences.
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