Prolific thief who attempted to rob Westgate store is jailed

Richard Champion was caught on CCTV

A man who injured a Westgate shop worker with a knife during an attempted robbery has been jailed.

Richard Champion caused a small cut to his victim’s finger as the man attempted to shut him out of the shop iduring the incident in March 2020.

The 27-year-old, formerly of Oxford Street, Margate, admitted attempted robbery, possession of a knife and two counts of shoplifting when he appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on December 16.

He was brought back before the same court on Friday (January 8) and jailed for three years and three months.

Champion’s first offence took place on the morning of Wednesday 11 March, when he entered a supermarket in Grange Road, Ramsgate and stole steaks, milk and chocolate worth around £200.

Two days later, he was standing outside the supermarket in Station Road, Westgate before it was due to open.

A shop worker told him the store was not opening for another hour and became suspicious of Champion, who had his face covered with a scarf. As the shop worker attempted to close the store’s electronic doors, Champion drew a knife and tried to stop him, cutting the man’s finger in the process.

On Monday 23 March, Champion hid around £700 worth of cosmetics in his trousers at another store, this time in Margate High Street, before leaving without paying.

Officers identified Champion from the distinctive striped trousers he was seen wearing in CCTV of the incidents and he was arrested on Tuesday 24 March.

PC Adele Marsh, Kent Police’s investigating officer, said: “Champion callously pulled a knife on a man who was merely trying to do his job and the victim could easily have been more seriously injured.

“Kent Police has a zero tolerance approach to knife crime and will seek the prosecution of anyone found in possession of a bladed article, or who uses one to commit an offence.

“The prison sentence handed down in this case shows that the courts also take such offences very seriously and I am pleased this offender has been removed from the streets of Thanet.”

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