Woman jailed after attempted robbery in Benfleet

Mick Ferris
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A woman has been jailed for four years after attacking a shop worker while armed with two knives during an attempted robbery in Benfleet.

Police have also secured a restraining order, which bans Justine Roberts from entering Benfleet Wine, in Kiln Road, where she carried out her crime.

Roberts initially entered the shop at about 8.45pm on February 3 and was denied store credit when she tried to buy cider with a bank card which was declined.

Justine Roberts

Just 15 minutes later, the 46-year-old returned and ordered the victim, a man aged in his 30s, to fill a shopping bag with money and threatened him with a kitchen knife and a Stanley knife.

When the cashier stood up to her, she entered the till area and attempted to attack him.

During that argument, Roberts threw a knife at the cashier, which struck him in the chest.

He was not hurt and was able to defend himself.

Roberts ran off empty-handed, leaving the knife and the shopping bag at the scene.

The cashier called 999 to report the incident and officers and a dog unit were at the scene within minutes.

Officers remained in their cars to allow the dogs to track Roberts from the scene.

During the search, two discarded items of clothing were found which were taken as evidence.

Within three days, officers established Roberts was behind the crime and she was arrested at her home in Abbotswood, Benfleet.

She was subsequently charged with, and admitted, attempted robbery and threatening another with a knife and was sentenced today, Thursday April 15, at Basildon Crown Court.

Roberts was sentenced to four years in prison for the attempted robbery and six months for the knife offence, to run concurrently.

PC Emma Adam of Castle Point CID, who led the investigation, said: “Roberts launched an unprovoked attack on the cashier, who was just doing his job.

“I am also pleased we have been able to secure a restraining order which bans her from going to the shop in the future.”


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk