Grant Ray admitted 12 offences, including robbery, fraud and taking a vehicle without consent, which took place between May 2019 and November 2020. The 28-year-old, formerly of Barn Platt, Ashford, was jailed for a total of three years at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday 24 May 2021.
The first of the offences took place in the early hours of Wednesday 15 May 2019, when the victim was walking through an underpass in Kimberley Way, Ashford. Ray and another man approached the victim and held him up against a wall.
They threatened to stab him if he didn’t hand over his belongings. They robbed the man of his wallet and phone, punching him and further threatening to stab him if he didn’t unlock the phone. A stolen bank card was later used in a supermarket and a service station. Kent Police officers obtained CCTV images of Ray visiting the stores and later identified him as one of the robbers.
On Wednesday 23 September 2020, a car was taken from Athol Road, Ashford after its owner returned to his house and left the engine running.
The car later made off from a petrol station in Hythe Road without fuel being paid for. The vehicle was later found abandoned, having suffered substantial damage in Hever Gardens. A lighter found on one of the seats had Ray’s DNA on it.
On Wednesday 18 November 2020, a Volvo was taken from the forecourt of a petrol station in Brookfield Road, Ashford while the owner was paying for petrol. Officers attended the area and arrested Ray in Knoll Lane.
The vehicle was found in Bucksford Lane, on fire and having suffered damage in a collision. Ray, who was disqualified from driving at the time, refused to take a breath or drug swipe test.
Detective Constable Natasha Russell, one of Kent Police’s investigating officers, said: ‘Ray is a repeat offender who continued to commit crime even while under investigation for other offences. ‘The robbery he committed would have been terrifying for his victim and the state in which he left the cars he was involved in taking suggests he could easily have caused a serious accident. ‘Our investigations into his offences have now seen him jailed and he will be unable to trouble the people of Ashford for some time.’