A man from Bedford has been sentenced to seven years’ prison after a string of knifepoint robberies, targeting victims who had withdrawn cash from Bedford petrol station cashpoint.
Luke Byrne, 18, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two robberies, and one attempted robbery, which took place between February and April.
The first incident occurred around 8.15pm on February 21 when Byrne used the knife to threaten, intimidate and rob a teenager who had withdrawn £80 from the cashpoint at the Texaco petrol station in Elstow Road.
On March 25, at 6.30pm, he followed a 60-year-old woman who withdrew cash from the same cashpoint. Once in Armstrong Road, he attempted to reach into her handbag, and when he was unsuccessful, he pushed her off the pavement and onto a grassed area, where he continued to reach for the bag, and produced a 20cm kitchen knife to threaten her. She screamed, and he ran off.
On April 5, at 11.30pm, Byrne used a knife and verbal threats towards another teenager, and stole £250 he had just withdrawn from the cashpoint.
Byrne was captured on CCTV, and identified by one of the victims.
He was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Monday to two years each for the robberies, and a further two years for the attempted robbery. He also received two sentences of six months in addition for possession of bladed articles.
Investigation Officer Emily Partington said: “We are dedicated to tackling street robbery. The length of the sentence handed down to Byrne reflects the gravity with which knife crime is viewed, not only in Bedfordshire, but in the UK. “People have a right to draw their own cash in safety on our streets.
“Knife crime continues to be a high priority for the force, and we will bring offenders to justice for such serious crimes.”