Video footage captured the moment Clifford Sculpher attempted to rob a Blackburn shop.
A man who attempted to rob a Blackburn shopkeeper at knifepoint has been jailed.Officers were called to Parkinson Street, Blackburn, on the afternoon of 3 January to reports of an attempted robbery at the Wine Cellar convenience store. On noticing defendant Clifford Sculpher attempting to open the door to the till area, the victim – a man in his 30s – went to see what was going on.Sculpher, who was wearing a yellow parka coat, then aggressively walked towards the victim holding a large kitchen knife.The victim picked up a wine bottle in a bid to protect himself and Sculpher lunged at him with the knife several times, while demanding money.Having told Sculpher there was no money, the victim attempted to grab the knife from him and a scuffle ensued.Sculpher put the knife to the back of the victim’s neck, grabbed his left arm and, again, demanded money.Sculpher eventually left the shop empty-handed.
Later the same day – when it was unknown Sculpher was responsible for the attempted robbery – officers were called to Brindle Street, Blackburn to reports of a man in an agitated state.That man, who transpired to be Sculpher, was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital by police.Seventeen minutes after leaving Sculpher at the A and E department, officers were recalled by staff who said the defendant was being aggressive and refusing to leave having been asked to do so.When police were attempting to escort Sculpher from the premises, he assaulted one of the officers and later spat at a custody officer.On January 6, while receiving medical care, Sculpher assaulted a member of hospital staff and threw a table at him.Following an appeal for witnesses to the attempted robbery, a member of the public contacted officers after finding Sculpher’s parka coat in some bins.
Sculpher, 32, now of no fixed address but last of Brindle Street, Blackburn, was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery once he had been discharged from hospital.He appeared at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempted robbery, two assaults on an emergency worker and assaulting a health worker.
DS Steve Munro, of Blackburn CID, said: “Sculpher’s behaviour towards a businessman trying to serve his local community was both cowardly and despicable. It had a significant impact on the residents of Mill Hill who were quite rightly appalled by what Sculpher had done. It was thanks to their support and good detective work that Sculpher was arrested and subsequently charged.“I would like to praise the victim who showed courage and bravery in what was clearly a distressing ordeal for him. However, I would always encourage people not to challenge offenders with weapons but always to call the police for assistance when it is safe to do so.“I welcome the sentence handed down by the judge and hope it sends out a strong message that Lancashire Police and the courts will not tolerate anybody who threaten people with weapons or assaults emergency workers who are just trying to do their jobs.”