Jail for man who robbed Didcot Sainsbury’s cashier at knifepoint
A KNIFE brandished a Sainsbury’s in Didcot in a ‘call for help’, a court heard.
Louis Fielding, 23, left the cashier terrified when he pulled out the blade on September 8 last year and said, “Do you want to die for money?”
He handed her one of the liquor cans he had taken from the shelf, telling her to use it to open the cash register.
She complied, giving the thief around £300 from the cash register.
CCTV showed Fielding walking away from the counter before she returned, swiping the box she had used to open the till and then walking out of the store.
Oxford Crown Court heard he went to a nearby Turkish restaurant, ordered food and then gave the stolen money to a passerby while he waited for his meal to be prepared.
When a police officer arrived on the scene, Fielding explained what he had done and showed him the flowerbed where he had left the knife used to rob Sainsbury’s cash register.
Mitigating, Kellie Enever said the events leading up to the bizarre theft were “pretty extraordinary”.
The brazen theft was a ‘call for help’ from his client, who had spent years struggling to get help for his mental health.
Just days before carrying out the inexpert heist, he damaged police vehicles in the car park outside an – unnamed – Oxfordshire police station before driving to reception. After admitting what he had done, he was offered a police warning and fired.
Ms Enever said her client had visited A&E several times at John Radcliffe Hospital in an attempt to get help for his mental health.
She acknowledged smoking cannabis “didn’t help” her client’s state of mind, with a psychiatric report indicating Fielding may have been suffering from drug-induced psychosis at the time of the robbery.
But the barrister told the court: ‘He is a young man who I think was absolutely desperate at the time.
Since being remanded in custody last year, he had been granted enhanced prisoner status at HMP Bullingdon and completed a number of courses.
Sentencing him to two years and four months in prison, recorder Michael Roques said: “You of course caused no physical injury and I have no doubt for a moment that you never intended to cause physical injury, but what you did was absolutely terrifying not only to the cashier but to the other worker who was present.
“There were only two female workers at the Sainsburys that day and I read the victim impact statement from the other worker explaining how she is now afraid to go to work but she has to because ‘ she has to provide for her family.”
Fielding, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed item.
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