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Crack addict who left one victim 'traumatised' after Dartford crime spree is jailed

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:09 12 June 2014

John Saunders was jailed for five and a half years

John Saunders was jailed for five and a half years

Archant

A crack addict who went on a crime spree to fund his habit has been jailed for more than five years.

John Saunders, 33, of Gordon Road, Northleet, pleaded guilty to two robberies, three burglaries and one attempted burglary.

He was jailed at Maidstone Crown Court on June 6.

The crimes were committed through Dartford in March and April of this year.

Saunders robbed Shoppers Amusement in the High Street at around 9pm on April 9, threatening staff with a kitchen knife.

Three days later, he robbed the Harvester restaurant in Dartford Road at around 11.30pm, forcing the manager to hand over around £1,000.

He also broke into the Watt Tyler pub in the High Street, making off with cash and alcohol, and the Granada Bingo Hall in Spital Street where he set off an alarm and was escorted from the property.

Detectives investigating the robbery at Shoppers Amusements arrested Saunders on April 16.

They began looking at the crimes as a linked series and Saunders admitted the offences in interview, saying he needed the cash to buy crack cocaine.

He asked for a number of other offences to be taken into account.

Investigating officer, DC Dameon Shaw said: “Claiming to be frantic to find money to buy drugs, Saunders committed a series of offences throughout Dartford.

“He made no bones about the fact he committed the crimes to purchase crack cocaine.

“However, his selfish actions have deeply distressed his victims and, in one case, left a member of staff so traumatised she has been unable to return to work. Saunders claims to be remorseful over his actions. Unfortunately, that remorse won’t take back the fright and upset he caused to innocent people caught up in his crime spree.

“Drug habits are often the motivation behind crime but that will not stop those offenders being brought to justice.”

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