Robber jailed after gas sprayed and car stolen

A robber has been jailed for five years after stealing a man’s car.

The 20-year-old victim had gone to Byfletts in Pitsea. When he parked his Ford Focus, he was approached by Johnnie Murrill, who reached through the window and took the keys from the ignition.

A substance identified as CS gas was then sprayed in the victim’s face by Murrill.

Murrill, who was armed with a knife, then demanded money from the victim before driving off in the Focus.

His accomplice, Ryan Rogers, followed behind in his own car, a Volkswagen Golf.
The victim’s wallet had been inside the Focus at the time it was stolen at 12.30am on February 22 and his bank card was used twice at a petrol station a few hours later. CCTV images showed the man using it was Murrill.

The Focus was found in Aydons Close, Wickford, later that morning.

Enquiries established that a Volkswagen Golf seen in the same street belonged to Rogers and had earlier been travelling in convoy with the Focus.

Officers found a hammer and CS gas canister inside his car.
A wallet and store card belonging to the victim were found nearby.

Guilty

While officers were dealing with Rogers, Murrill arrived and was arrested.
Murrill, 25, of Byfletts, Pitsea, pleaded guilty to robbery and fraud by false representation when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court in July.

He returned to court on Wednesday, August 29, where he also pleaded guilty to driving other than in accordance with a licence and driving with no insurance.

He was jailed for four years for robbery and a suspended sentence of 12 months was also activated, making a total sentence of five years.

He was given six penalty points for the driving offences.

Rogers, 28, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of an offensive weapon – a hammer and CS gas – when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court on July 24.

He returned to court on Wednesday, August 29, where he also pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs.

He was given a nine-month jail term suspended for 18 months and a supervision order for 18 months. He was banned from driving for 12 months.

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