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'Inept' robber sank his teeth into supermarket manager
A MAN has been jailed after he bit a supermarket manager during an “inept” attempt to carry out a robbery at knife-point.
Daniel Townsend, of Daubeny Road, East Oxford, admitted trying to force employees at Sainsbury’s in Heyford Hill to give him money from the safe.
In what was described by his barrister as an “inept” attempted robbery, the 24-year-old arrived at the supermarket at about 7am on June 21 this year.
David Lee, prosecuting, said Townsend told a member of staff he had a small kitchen knife and he demanded to see the store manager.
The barrister said he was taken to duty manager Geoffrey Gibson and told him: “I want someone to take me to the office and open the safe.”
But Mr Gibson refused and a “considerable struggle” took place as he and other members of staff tried to disarm Townsend, Mr Lee said.
At one point, Mr Lee told Judge Ian Pringle, the defendant sank his teeth into the manager’s bicep for about 20 seconds, drawing blood.
Mr Lee said Townsend was eventually overpowered and arrested, telling police he had carried out the crime because he faced being made homeless.
The would-be robber had decided, the barrister added, that it would be better to go to prison than have nowhere to live.
In a victim impact statement Mr Gibson said it felt like he had been forced to “put his life on hold” while he waited for blood test results after being bitten.
Sarah Holland, defending, said Townsend’s attempted robbery showed little planning and had been “poorly carried out”.
She said: “The planning was minimal and poorly executed – Mr Townsend says the idea came into his head and he acted on it.
“He had to threaten people on a number of occasions saying, ‘I have a knife, I have a knife’ because they simply didn’t take him seriously.”
The barrister added that her client had no previous convictions and was planning to take an Open University physics course while in prison.
Judge Ian Pringle told the defendant the result of the “very violent struggle” which took place was months of worry for Mr Gibson.
He sentenced Townsend to three years and four months in prison for attempted robbery and four months for possessing a bladed article in a public place, to run concurrently.
Judge Pringle said: “Behaviour such as this is simply not tolerated – despite that fact you have never appeared before the courts before.”
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