Drug addict 'desperate for a fix' robbed man at knife-point in Gainsborough

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court

A cyclist who robbed a Gainsborough man at knife-point as he walked to work in the morning has been jailed for four years.

Drug addict Dean Wesley Smith, 31, cycled up to his victim, John Matthews, on Heapham Road, after he spotted him holding a mobile phone in his hand.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Smith had been awake for several hours and was "desperate for a fix" when he noticed Mr Matthews walking to work at 7am.

Duncan Smith, prosecuting, said: "The defendant cycled past Mr Matthews and then went back and demanded money from him.

"Mr Matthews did not have any money. Smith then told him 'give me your money or I will shank you.'

"Smith asked Mr Matthews to unlock his phone and took it along with a bank card and a tin of tobacco."

The court heard Mr Matthews raised the alarm at a nearby shop where Smith had already been seen acting suspiciously with a scarf hiding his face.

A victim impact statement from Mr Matthews was read out in court.

He said: "At the time of the incident I was in shock. After the adrenaline left I felt shaken and upset.

"The fact my phone with all my family's photographs and contacts was taken from me makes me feel sick.

"It will continue to affect me as I still have to walk to work."

Smith, of no fixed address, admitted the robbery which occurred on July 18 this year, plus a second charge of having a bladed article.

The court heard Smith was not helpful during his police interview and the knife was never recovered.

Mark Watson, mitigating, told the court Smith had become addicted to Class A drugs after being introduced to illegal substances at the age of 18.

"On this morning he had been up for a considerable time and needed a quick fix," Mr Watson said.

"He saw the victim and took his chance, Mr Matthews wasn't targeted."

The court heard Smith had freed himself of drugs while on remand in prison.

Passing sentence, Judge Simon Hirst told Smith: "You told Mr Matthews to give you his money or you would shank him. He knew full well what you meant.

"You produced a knife from your trousers, it is right to say you kept it by your side."