An armed robber who raided Sussex Tesco with a wheelie bin and carried out a ‘harrowing’ attack on a police officer has been jailed.
Owen Smith, 29, and another man drove up to a petrol station at Redkiln Way in Horsham about 12.30am on Friday, July 6 wearing balaclavas.
Smith, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty in August to robbery, making threats with an offensive weapon, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, driving whilst disqualified and stealing number plates, Hove Crown Court heard today.
Police have now released shocking CCTV footage, which shows the robbery and later assault on the police officer.
The two men can be seen bringing a wheelie bin into the store and demanding that the staff member open the tills.
The second man has never been identified, Hove Crown Court heard today.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “An assessment was being carried out when a police car on routine patrol happened to pull onto the Tesco Express garage forecourt and discovered the crime in progress.
“The officers quickly called for assistance from other units, while trying to get other members of the public, who were turning up at petrol station, to stay away.
“However Smith, had seen the officers turn up and ran at them threatening them with a baseball bat. He managed to open the police car door and attack PC Ellie Young, pulling her from her seat.
“PC Young received injuries to her arms, legs, neck and shoulder but bravely, she, along with her colleague PC Vicky Canales, continued to tackle Smith. Within seconds back-up arrived and Smith was Tasered and arrested. His accomplice ran off and is still being sought.”
Detective Chief Inspector Justina Beeken said the attack on her officer was ‘harrowing’.
She said: “Watching the CCTV of Owen Smith attacking our officers is absolutely harrowing, not least due to the ferocity of the attack, and I commend the officers’ bravery and commitment that evening in arresting him.
“No officer should be attacked while doing their job and I am thankful that no officers were more seriously hurt.
“I also commend those officers who ran to their colleagues’ assistance, trying to prevent Smith from getting away from the scene, without a moment’s thought for their own safety.
“Smith’s behaviour has also had an impact on those working in the Tesco Express that evening who were also threatened while going about their job.”
Judge Jeremy Gold QC jailed Smith for 10 years, with an additional four year licence period to be served after that.
Comments from the judge, as well as from the victims, will be published soon.
Video provided by Sussex Police.