A man has been jailed for more than five years after a targeted attack inside a restaurant in Benfleet

A man has been jailed for more than five years after a targeted attack inside a restaurant in Benfleet.

Joshua Crouch entered Aspera restaurant, in London Road, holding a dumbbell and knife shortly before 2pm on Thursday 10 September, 2020.

Crouch was wearing military-style body armour and tried to hide his identity by wearing a motorbike helmet.

The 28-year-old, of Arlingford Road, Brixton, then attacked a man who was dining in the restaurant, causing a large cut to his head which required hospital treatment.

During the attack, Crouch was restrained by restaurant staff and other diners until our officers arrived to take charge of the scene.

Crouch was then arrested and questioned by officers. Following his arrest, we also linked Crouch to two other offences; an assault on a woman in Hadleigh on March 14, 2020, and criminal damage on July 12, 2020.

He was later charged with two counts of possessing an offensive weapon and one count of GBH.

We also charged him with assault and criminal damage in connection with separate offences.

He was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Monday 8 March to four years in prison for GBH and 12 months for both counts of possessing a weapon in a public place.

Judge Ian Graham also added six months in prison for the assault and there was no separate penalty for the criminal damage.

In total, he was sentenced to five years and six months in prison.

We also secured five-year restraining orders which prevent him from contacting all of his victims.

We would like to thank the staff from the restaurant, and members of the public, who helped to restrain Crouch until we arrived at the scene.

It is as a result of their actions that three victims of crime have been given justice.