Jail for dangerous man who robbed victim as he was on his way to work

Thursday, March 9, 2023

A dangerous man has been jailed following our investigation into a robbery in Blackburn.

Shortly before 5.20am on October 17, last year, the victim was preparing to cycle to work from his home in Swan Street.

As the victim, a man in his 30s, was putting some music on his phone and whilst his legs were either side of his bike he looked up and saw two men walking towards him.

One of the men – now known to be defendant Paul Smith - shouted: “you’re up early mate.” The second man then asked for the victim for a cigarette.

After the victim said he didn’t smoke Smith went to shake his hand. When the victim refused Smith punched him in the chest, causing the victim to drop his mobile phone.

The victim did not retaliate. However, Smith pulled a knife from his jacket pocket and brandished it towards him.

The victim got off his bike and walked into his yard to find something to defend himself with. Smith and the second man ran off and the victim saw them go into a nearby house.

Our officers quickly attended and were directed to the house where Smith and the second man ran into. They were both arrested.

Smith, 33, of Town Hall Street, Great Harwood, was subsequently charged with robbery, possession of a knife in a public place and assault by beating. He pleaded guilty to all three offences.

He appeared at Preston Crown Court yesterday (March 8) and was sentenced to four and a half years custody, with an extended licence period of two years after the judge deemed him to be dangerous.

The second man was released no further action.

Tony Roberts, of Blackburn CID, said: “This was a shocking offence committed against a man who was on his way to work.

“I welcome the sentence handed down to Smith and hope it sends out a strong message that this type of appalling behaviour will not be tolerated by Lancashire Police.”

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