A thief who threatened to slit a man’s throat during an attempted robbery in Tunbridge Wells has been sentenced to almost four years in prison.
Harry Dial demanded money from his victim after following him to a cash machine in Grosvenor Road, at around 7am on 18 January 2019. He held a sharp object against the man’s throat and made threats to stab him unless he handed over cash.
Dial, aged 21, of no fixed address, only stopped when a passer-by came to the victim’s aid. He fled empty handed but then went on to commit further offences. At 8.20am he threatened to assault staff at a shop in Silverdale Road, before stealing a bottle of wine. He then entered a store in Liptraps Lane where he left empty handed but was seen by staff to be in possession of a knife. Dial was arrested shortly after at a nearby property and a knife was located and seized. He was charged and remanded into custody.
Appearing before Maidstone Crown Court he denied using a knife to threaten his victim at the cash machine, claiming he had instead pressed a piece of broken glass against his neck. Dial pleaded guilty to counts of attempted robbery, theft and possession of a bladed article in a public place. On 16 April he was sentenced to three years and seven months’ imprisonment.
Detective Constable Mark Simcox of west Kent CID said: ‘Dial subjected his intended robbery victim to a truly terrifying ordeal, during a series of crimes carried out over a very short period of time. Thankfully, we were able to promptly identify and arrest him, ensuring he could pose no further threat to people in the local community.
“Our officers are continuing to take robust and proactive action to target anyone who thinks that carrying a knife for whatever reason is acceptable. Kent Police remains committed to tackling knife crime culture across the whole county and we have a number of measures in place to detect, stop and search those who we believe may be carrying weapons”