Prison for failed robber who racially abused and ‘gouged eyes’ of Ramsgate shopkeeper

Kuypers shown on the shop's CCTV

A would-be robber who racially abused a Ramsgate shop worker following a failed attempt to steal cash has been jailed for four years.

Sam Kuypers forced his way behind a shop counter in Addington Street in February  but left after he found he was unable to open the till. He then racially abused and assaulted a shop worker who confronted him outside.

The 34-year-old, of no fixed address, admitted robbery and racially aggravated assault, occasioning actual bodily harm, and was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday, May 20.

He was jailed for four years and must also serve an additional two years on licence when he is released.

On Thursday, February 27 Kuypers entered the shop in Addington Street and walked behind the counter. He then pushed the shop worker out of the way and attempted to open the till by hitting it.

Despite verbal threats, the victim refused to help the offender open the till and he eventually left with nothing.

The victim then followed the offender outside so he could inform police of his location, however he was confronted by Kuypers, who racially abused him and attacked him with an empty glass bottle.

As the victim lay on the ground trying to shield himself from attack, Kuypers gouged his eyes before a member of the public intervened and the offender fled. He handed himself in to Kent Police later on the same day.

Detective Constable Richard Cordery, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: “Kuypers showed a level of arrogance when he barged behind the shop counter and assumed he could threaten and intimidate the shop worker into handing over money he had no right to. He underestimated the courage shown by his victim who stood up to him and then followed him, hoping to tell police of his location.

“He then carried out a reprehensible, racist and violent attack against his victim which would have been a frightening ordeal. Fortunately people stepped in to help the victim from further harm.

“Kuypers’ attitude is not acceptable and I hope he uses his time in prison to reconsider his behaviour.”