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Young man beaten and robbed by 10 men with knifes and batons near East Grinstead

Police are investigating a robbery which occurred at approximately 11.45pm on Thursday 11 April when the victim, a 20-year-old local man, was attacked as he walked alone across the village cricket pitch at Forest Row, near East Grinstead.

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A group of 10 young men armed with knives and batons confronted the man, who had earlier walked through Tompsets Banks car park. He was beaten up and had his mobile phone and other personal items stolen.

Immediately after the robbery the victim made his way down Highgate Road to its junction with Card Hill, followed by his attackers. He later attended Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath, for treatment to cuts and bruises before being allowed home the next morning.

Detective Constable Andy Mountford-Laker, the officer in charge of the investigation, said it had been an isolated incident but it was important that those responsible were identified as soon as possible.

He said:

“We are keen to speak to anyone who saw what happened, who noticed the group concerned before, during or after the attack, or who may have other information, dash-cam or CCTV footage that could assist our enquiries.”

Anyone able to help is asked to report details online or phone 101, quoting serial 74 of 12/04.

Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, either online or by phoning 0800 555 111.

Crime

Man jailed for stealing charity collection tins

A man who broke into a café and stole three charity collection tins has been jailed.

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Police were alerted to the break-in at The Conservatory Café in North Street, Horsham, about 11.30pm on Monday 13 May.

Smashed windows and traces of blood were discovered at the scene and a witnesses described a man acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the offence.

Due to the description provided and the information received, a suspect was nominated.

A PCSO on patrol spotted the suspect in Hurst Road about 7pm the following evening (14 May) and noticed he had cuts on his hand consistent with a recent injury.

The suspect was identified as Kieran Blunden, 33, unemployed, of no fixed address.

Further officers attended to assist, and Blunden was arrested and charged with burglary.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 16 May, where he was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £50 in compensation.

Blunden also admitted stealing a charity box from the Cancer Research shop in West Street, Horsham, on 14 May, and this offence was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Investigations Supervisor Dave Bell said:

“Blunden’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence committed and takes into account his previous offending history.

“This was a diabolical offence whereby the defendant has stolen from the most vulnerable in our community.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for helping to bring him to justice – from the café owner who initially reported it, to the witness who provided a good description of the suspect, and the PCSO whose local knowledge ultimately led to Blunden being identified and arrested.”

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