A robber who attacked a shopkeeper in Strood with a cricket bat is starting a four year prison sentence.
Dedawan Kakel, 25, was among a gang who assaulted the man during a raid on Darnley Road on March 8, 2021.
Kakel travelled from the West Midlands in a BMW with the group, who were also armed with a knife.
Police say their intention was to rob a community shop. Having driven to Kent, they parked in Dart Close, near the chosen premises.
At around 7.30pm, Kakel and three others approached the shop where a staff member was working alone.
They entered the store and one of the group struck the victim with a cricket bat.
He fell to the floor and the others assaulted him. One of the assailants had a knife and, as the victim protected himself, he suffered a cut to his hand.
The robbers then left the scene with cash from the till and the police were alerted.
An investigation by the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad identified the suspects’ car from CCTV footage.
Further enquiries established the car had stopped at a petrol station near Blue Bell Hill and a CCTV image showed Kakel in the passenger seat.
Investigators retrieved further evidence that proved he was near the crime scene at the time of the robbery and he was arrested on July 21.
Kakel, of Princes Road, Middlesbrough, Teeside was later charged with robbery. He pleaded not guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and, after a six-day trial, was convicted.
On Monday, July 4, he was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.
Investigating officer, PC Emma Laimbeer, said: "This group of violent criminals travelled a long way to target a lone Kent shop worker and their cowardly attack caused serious injuries to the victim.
"The complex enquiries in the West Midlands and Teeside identified Kakel and his arrest should have sent a clear message to his accomplices that, in Kent, we are relentless in our efforts to bring violent criminals to justice."