‘Lock me up’, says armed robber

John Garnett
John Garnett
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A ROBBER who held a prostitute at knifepoint in her St Annes flat told a court he should be locked up for public protection.

John Garnett put a kitchen knife to the woman’s throat and threatened to kill her as he demanded money.

Preston Crown Court heard he raided the cash box on an electricity meter and then calmly told his victim to make him a cup of tea while he ate a sandwich.

Garnett’s barrister said he specifically wanted to be given a public protection style sentence – where offenders are only released when the parole board is satisfied it is safe to let them out – because he felt he may commit a more serious offence in the future.

Sentencing the 40-year-old to an indeterminate sentence for public protection – with a minimum term to be served of four years and eight months – Judge Heather Lloyd said: “This must have been terrifying for her.

“Your behaviour that day was manipulative and controlling. This horrific episode took place over a two hour period. She feared for her life.”

Garnett (below), of Charles Street, central Blackpool, had previously pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and having an offensive weapon.

The court heard he had been a previous customer of the woman, who occasionally worked as a prostitute.

One morning in May last year she got a call from him and it was agreed she would provide sexual services for him for £40.

Mark Ainsworth, prosecuting, said after being let into the South Promenade flat, the defendant went in the kitchen.

A few minutes later, Garnett came up from behind and grabbed hold of her as he held a knife against her throat.

He said: “I’ll kill you. Where’s the money?”

Garnett then managed to detach the coin box from a meter cupboard and stole £49 and he put the cash in his coat pocket.

He was arrested the following day with a kitchen knife he had taken from the flat.

Garnett’s previous convictions included one in 2002 for rape and burglary on a woman in her home who was also threatened with a knife.

Charlotte Holland, defending, said: “He is of the opinion that if a determinate sentence was imposed, there is a significant risk he would commit a similar, if not more serious type of offence. It is his view a sentence for public protection would be the most appropriate in his case.”