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Thugs jailed for Gravesend street robbery

PUBLISHED: 16:15 09 March 2011

Antony Sweetman

Antony Sweetman

Archant

Two robbers who unleashed an unprovoked attack on three friends have been jailed for five years each.

Antony Sweetman, 26, of Waterdales, Northfleet, and Mark Joy, 35, of Ernest Road, Chatham, were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court today for the late night attack in Ordnance Road, Gravesend, in June last year.

Mark Joy

The court heard how two men suffered extensive injuries to their faces and bodies after being punched to the ground and then kicked during the incident.

Detective Constable Helen King said: “This was a nasty and unprovoked attack which was a frightening experience for all three victims.

“I would thank them for their support throughout this investigation and I am pleased that the jury convicted both Antony Sweetman and Mark Joy who will now be behind bars for quite some time, unable to attack anyone else.”

The friends, aged 25, 27 and 29, were walking along the street towards Milton Road when Sweetman and Joy came up to them. Sweetman demanded money from the 29-year-old before turning his attention to the 25-year-old man. He was punched a number of times in the face and then kicked in the head and body as he lay on the ground.

The court heard how Sweetman and Joy then attacked the 27-year-old, repeatedly hitting the victim’s head on the pavement. They then went back to the 25-year-old victim and pulled his bag from him, breaking the strap. Both then ran off.

All three victims went into the nearby BP petrol garage for help and to call police. Sweetman and Joy were arrested shortly afterwards in connection with the incident and bailed pending further enquiries. They were charged by Kent Police on August 5 2010.

Both defendants stood trial at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday March 1. Sweetman pleaded guilty on the first day of the trial to the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm. He was found guilty by the jury on both charges of robbery on Monday March 7 and was jailed for five years for one robbery, two years for the second robbery and 12 months for the assault, to be served concurrently.

Joy was found guilty of one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm and one charge of robbery. He was sentenced to five years for the robbery and 18 months for the assault, to be served concurrently.

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