Published: 18:02, 21 June 2021
| Updated: 18:19, 21 June 2021
A masked and hooded thief who terrified shop staff by threatening them with a knife has been jailed for eight years.
The terrifying ordeal saw Dean Hoskins walk into a shop in Newington Road, Ramsgate, and demand a member of staff handover money from the till before grabbing her throat and threatening her with a blade.
The victim was able to briefly free herself and pressed the customer buzzer several times, alerting another member of staff to the fact something was wrong.
He ran to the front of the shop where he was confronted by Hoskins holding onto his colleague.
The man emptied both tills and handed over £250 in cash.
Hoskins, aged 35, stuffed the notes in his pocket and immediately turned to leave but not before swiping two packets of cigarettes and tobacco on his way out of the shop.
The victims called 999 and were able to describe Hoskins’ appearance to police, including the clothes he was wearing during the robbery, which happened at about 7.30pm on November 8 last year.
"This was a terrifying ordeal for the people who were working that day and it is extremely lucky they weren’t injured..."
CCTV footage was reviewed and a search was carried out in but Hoskins could not be found.
Detectives launched an investigation and inquiries continued.
Almost two weeks later, on Friday, November 20, a man was detained in Ramsgate at about 2pm for an unrelated offence.
The officer recognised the top that the man was wearing under his jacket from the CCTV images he had seen from the robbery.
They were exactly the same clothes as those Hoskins had been wearing that day: a green and white top, along with jeans and trainers.
He was identified and arrested for the former offence.
Hoskins, of Grange Road in Ramsgate, pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and possession of a knife.
He was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday.
Kent Police’s investigating officer, Detective Constable Andrew Palmer, said: "This was a terrifying ordeal for the people who were working that day and it is extremely lucky they weren’t injured.
"Hoskins has shown he is the type of person that will go to great lengths to steal, regardless of the consequences or the long-lasting effect his actions may have on innocent members of the public.
"No one should have to go to work and suffer an ordeal like this and thankfully the court has ensured Hoskins has received a significant sentence for his crimes."