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Armed robber Thomas Henderson jailed for stealing £1,000 from Tonbridge Sainsbury's supermarket

A drug addict lunged at terrified supermarket staff with a knife and made off with £1,000.

Thomas Henderson covered his face with a bandana before raiding Sainsbury's Local in Shipbourne Road, Tonbridge on August 15.

The 22-year-old approached the tills and demanded money. He tried to grab a cash bag from the counter but the shop assistant pulled it away.

Thomas Henderson has been jailed for three years
Thomas Henderson has been jailed for three years

He demanded: "Give me the ******* money." When the employee refused he pulled out a kitchen knife and, holding it with both hands, lunged at him.

Prosecutor Dominic Connolly said the victim moved back and threw the cash at him.

Henderson picked it up, put it in the cash bag and walked out.

He was arrested soon afterwards in a nearby car park. The cash was recovered from under a seat.

Mr Connolly said Henderson, of Cromer Street, also had a small bag of cannabis.

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

The knife used in the robbery was found when his room at his grandmother’s home was searched.

Henderson’s mother shopped him to the police after she went into the loft and found a black sack containing 70g of herbal cannabis worth £625.

Officers also recovered a small amount of cocaine.

Henderson, who admitted robbery, having a bladed article and possessing drugs, had previously served a 22-month sentence for dealing.

Susan Rodham, defending, said Henderson had positive plans when released from his last sentence, but had problems with accommodation and was smoking cannabis.

Judge Charles Macdonald QC
Judge Charles Macdonald QC

"He is thoroughly ashamed of himself," said Miss Rodham. "He has been using his time in prison well."

Jailing Henderson for three years, Judge Charles Macdonald QC said: "The only mitigation is that you are a model prisoner."

After sentencing, Detective Constable Tony Hatcher said: "Henderson sought to terrorise staff by concealing his face and threatening them with a large kitchen knife.

"At one stage he thrust the knife towards one of his victims in order to make him hand over money.

"We were able to quickly arrest him, thanks largely to the instincts of local officers who had been alerted by his suspicious behaviour next to a car."

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