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Sittingbourne: Bag snatcher Billy Austin, of Cavell Way, jailed

By KentOnline reporter

A robber who stole bank cards from a man and woman in Sittingbourne before using them to make payments has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Billy Austin, of Cavell Way, Sittingbourne, robbed the victims in May and July before using their bank cards for payments. He also burgled a small business in the town.

The 24-year-old admitted two counts of robbery, one count of burglary and four counts of fraud and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday.

Billy Austin. Picture Kent Police

Billy Austin. Picture: Kent Police

The court heard that on May 15 Austin approached a woman in Hawthorn Road, Sittingbourne, at about 5.30am and demanded she hand over her bag.

He then pulled the bag, which contained a mobile phone and purse, from the victim and half an hour later used it for two transactions.

He went on to rob a man on July 4. On this occasion he followed the man into a newsagent in West Street and watched as he entered his pin while making a card payment.

He then followed the man to Frederick Street and demanded he hand over his card while threatening him with a knife.

"Billy Austin has shown himself to be incapable of living in society without posing a threat to innocent members of the public" - Detective Sergeant Mike Champion

Once Austin had the card, he used it for two transactions to the value of £50.
Austin also admitted committing a burglary at a barber in Hawthorn Road, Sittingbourne, overnight on July 4 and 5.

A small amount of cash was taken from a till and a back door was also damaged.

Detective Sergeant Mike Champion said: "Billy Austin has shown himself to be incapable of living in society without posing a threat to innocent members of the public.

"The sentence is proportionate and I hope the victims can take comfort from the fact he has been brought to justice."

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