Published: 11:34, 11 January 2019
| Updated: 12:14, 11 January 2019
An inept robber who decided to raid an off-licence at knifepoint on his birthday didn’t get the cash present he was hoping for when he was chased out by a brave member of staff wielding a stick.
With the sleeve of a jersey pulled over his face, Richard Miles ran into The Village store in Chatham brandishing a knife and demanding money from Mrs Harsha Pansuriya as she stood by the till.
But her father-in-law Dhirijlal Pansooria leapt into action with a stick or bar and 34-year-old Miles turned on his heels and fled empty-handed.
Now, he will spend his next birthdays behind bars after being jailed for four years.
His lawyer Lucy Luttman described the raid lasting just 30 seconds as “shambolic and rudimentary”.
A judge told Miles, who lived in nearby Village View: “You said you didn’t have any money. You took it into your head to go and commit this crime, no doubt to give yourself some selfish pleasure on your birthday to get money.”
The father-of-three, who was in November 2011 jailed for six years and five months for a similar offence involving a hammer and burglary, denied attempted robbery and having a bladed article.
Following his conviction by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday, Miss Luttman said: “It was a very short incident. It was clearly a rather shambolic and rudimentary robbery.
“While it was clearly unpleasant, there was no actual violence and no lasting impact on the people involved. Clearly, the robber was shooed out of the shop by some kind of stick.”
The court heard Miles, who worked in the building trade, put work trousers over his camouflage shorts and also wore a green top and a “hunter’s cap” with flaps at the side. He used the sleeve of a jumper to pull over his face.
Waving the knife with a 7in blade, he told Mrs Pansuriya: “Empty the till, otherwise I am going to kill you.”
But on seeing Mr Pansooria approaching with the pole, he backed off and ran away.
Some of the discarded clothes were later tracked down to an alleyway by a police dog.
Deputy Judge Robert Winstanley told Miles: “You were living with your mother not far from the off-licence. It must have been your local shop. There is no significant mitigation.
“I consider you pose a risk of serious harm to the public. However, this is only the second time you have offended so seriously. The last time was seven years ago and I can’t categorise the risk as significant.”
The judge added that he did not, therefore, make a finding of dangerous, which could have led to an extended sentence.