Published: 00:01, 02 September 2014
A thug who held a knife to the throat of a pizza takeaway worker in a robbery and committed a string of other offences has been jailed for just three years.
With time spent in custody, Phillip Tullett, who had previously served an eight-year sentence for robbery involving a knife, is likely to be released within about a year.
The 31-year-old repeat offender went into Pizza Go Go in East Hill, Dartford, on April 20 this year with two others.
Prosecutor Ian Foinette said Tullett climbed over the counter, pulled out the knife and held it to Saghir Hussain’s neck.
When he bravely refused to open the till he was punched in the face by one of the other robbers. The third raider grabbed a large spoon and struck Mr Hussain on the head with it.
They fled with just a mobile phone after the restaurant boss saw what was happening on security cameras and shouted at them.
Mr Foinette said Tullett was identified on CCTV footage when he was arrested for other offences with Billy Durant, 29, and 25-year-old Grant Wake.
Tullett, of Lydden Court, Eltham, south east London, admitted robbery, car-taking and going equipped for theft.
Durant, of Neptune Walk, Erith, admitted theft, allowing himself to be carried in the car and possessing cannabis.
Wake, of Riley Close, Erith, admitted theft, three offences of racially aggravated harassment, four of assault and one of damaging property.
Tullett and Durant appeared for sentence, while Wake, who racially abused and spat at police officers, refused to leave his cell for the hearing.
Wake was sentenced to two years imprisonment and Durant to 12 months suspended for two years.
Mr Foinette said a week after the robbery on April 27 the three went to Strood Leisure Centre and stole property belonging to John Powell and his family.
They had left it in a locker while they were swimming. It included the keys to their Vauxhall Vectra car, which was stolen from outside.
Police spotted the car in Crayford town centre and arrested Tullett, Durant and Wake.
Some of the stolen property was recovered, along with a false number plate.
The remaining offences involving Wake were committed while he was in custody.
He hurled foul racist abuse at police officers and spat at them. He had to be restrained several times.
The criminal damage offence involved him urinating in his cell.
Tullett was jailed for eight years at Blackfriars Crown Court in February 2006 for four robberies and having an imitation firearm.
Allan Goh, defending, said all three had mental illnesses and acted in a criminal way when they did not take their medication.
“They are in serious danger of being recidivists and in danger of going in and out of custody for longer,” he said. “The court has the opportunity to break the cycle.”
Mr Goh said of Wake: “His actions were desperate. He was homeless, hungry and needed money to support himself, including his drug addiction.
“I ask to at least give him hope. Give him light at the end of the tunnel.”
Tullett, he said, was perhaps in the greatest jeopardy and an extended sentence for public protection was, no doubt, considered.
Durant had a support network and he hoped to enrol in a drugs course.
Recorder Francis Evans QC told Tullett: “You have a record that can only be described as very poor.”
The robbery victim, he said, “courageously refused to abide by your orders”.
Tullett was sentenced to three years for the robbery and 18 months concurrent for the other offences.
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