A robber who was arrested within 20 minutes of trying to hold up a Whitstable business with a water pistol has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
During the evening of 7 April 2020, Kent Police received a report of a potential armed robbery at a post office in Whitstable. The robber had put a black bag over his hand whilst holding the water pistol and threatened to shoot the victim. But he left empty-handed after staff told him to leave as police had been called.
Having been provided with a good description of the robber, including distinctive tattoos he had, officers found the offender, Callum Stewart, in Joy Lane, not too far from the premises he had just tried to steal from.
He was searched and it was then that Stewart admitted it had been a water pistol and that he also had a kitchen knife in his possession. Both items were found and the 29-year-old was arrested, 20 minutes after officers were first called to the scene.
Stewart, of Lucerne Drive, Whitstable, was charged the following day with attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article in a public place.
He pleaded guilty to the charges at Canterbury Crown Court and on Wednesday 19 August, he was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
Investigating officer PC Sam Ings-Kemsley said: ‘To be in your place of work late at night and confronted by someone demanding money and pointing something at you which they are claiming is a gun, is a frightening experience. At that moment, you don’t know what could happen or what that person is capable of.
‘Callum Stewart is a dangerous and selfish individual who played on people’s fears to try and steal. It was important he was identified and stopped as quickly as possible to ensure he couldn’t try this tactic on anyone else. I wish the victims all the best and hope they feel reassured by the court result.’