Tilbury robber arrested in hospital as girlfriend went into labour

A BUNGLING robber was arrested at Basildon Hospital as his girlfriend went into labour.

Cops tracked down Denver Clift to Basildon Hospital’s maternity unit, just hours after he demanded cash at knifepoint from a cashier

Clift, 25, of Brennan Road, Tilbury, was jailed for three years after admitting robbery and possessing a knife reports the Thurrock Gazette.

Richard Scott, prosecuting, told Basildon Crown Court Clift entered the Welcome convenience store in Portsea Road, Tilbury, at 9.30pm on September 12.

The robber had a scarf wrapped around his face, but the cashier knew and recognised him.

Clift told her to hand over the till and, when she refused, he brandished a kitchen knife.

A customer pulled the cashier away and Clift unsuccessfully tried to break into the till, before grabbing £24-worth of cigarettes and making off.

Staff called police, who searched for Clift and discovered his girlfriend was giving birth at Basildon Hospital.

Cops found Clift at the hospital. He put up a struggle, but when officers managed to search him they found the knife and a packet of the stolen cigarettes.

He was arrested, meaning he missed the birth of his first daughter.

Grant Benjamin, mitigating, described the robbery as an act of desperation and said Clift had wanted to steal the money to provide for his unborn child.

Mr Benjamin said: “He’s going to regret this for the rest of his life. Because of his own stupidity he missed the birth of his daughter. He wasn’t present when he was needed the most.”

Judge Owen Davies, sentencing, told Clift: “You were recognised, not surprisingly in view of the amateur way in which you went about this robbery.

“The cashier has been quite deeply affected by the trauma of the evening.”

Judge Davies sentenced Clift to three years in prison for the robbery and 12 months for possessing the knife, to run concurrently.

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