An armed robber who violently assaulted a man in his Medway home has been jailed for more than 10 years.

Joseph Crabbe attacked his victim with a snooker cue and a screwdriver during a break-in at a property in Cliffe.

Crabbe and an accomplice entered the house at around 10.45pm on 19 July 2021, but were disturbed by the victim who told them to leave. They responded by repeatedly beating him with the snooker cue. The men then demanded valuables and pinned him to a sofa while stabbing his head with a screwdriver and holding a knife to his neck.

When one of them started to hurt the victim’s dog, the man handed them possessions including a watch and wallet and provided PIN numbers to bank cards. He was assaulted again, and his legs and arms were bound with flex before Crabbe and his partner-in-crime fled the scene.

A passing motorist saw the offenders running through the village and believing their actions were suspicious followed them to a car park, where the men got into a Vauxhall Insignia. They left the area having turned the car’s headlights off. The same motorist then located the victim who had freed himself and was standing further along the road in a distressed state. Police were alerted and the victim received treatment at hospital for extensive cuts and bruises.

Investigators from the Kent Police Crime Squad used Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras (ANPR) to identify the Vauxhall Insignia – which was owned by one of Crabbe’s relatives and was captured travelling to and from the crime scene. Crabbe’s DNA was also recovered from a hammer left at the victim’s home, and he was tracked down by officers and arrested on 2 February 2022.

Crabbe, from Chatham was charged with robbery and with being unlawfully at large (in connection to breaching licence conditions imposed following a previous conviction). The 37-year-old pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court, and on Friday 11 August 2023 received an extended prison sentence of 10 years and six months. He will have to serve at least two thirds of the sentence before he can be considered for parole, and upon his release from prison will be subject to an additional three years on licence.

DC Emma Laimbeer said: ‘This was an extremely violent attack on a victim inside their own home. The cowardly actions of Crabbe and his accomplice were no doubt terrifying, as they thought only of stealing any valuables they could find. I would like to commend the victim who has shown considerable courage assisting us to bring Crabbe to justice. I would also like to thank the member of the public whose quick thinking assisted us to identify the vehicle used by the criminals. He then assisted the injured victim, and ensured the emergency services were alerted.’

By Ed

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