Knife-point thug 'terrified' female motorist in Longton robbery
A ROBBER traumatised a lone female driver by climbing into her car and threatening her with a knife as she waited at traffic lights.
Cy Podmore was today beginning an eight year jail sentence after he terrified nurse Kerry Martin by robbing her at knife-point.
The victim's horrific ordeal began when Podmore approached Miss Martin's Honda Civic at the junction of King Street and Wood Street, Longton, and got in.
Despite her remonstrations he sat in the passenger seat before demanding cash.
Miss Martin, who was driving home from work, noticed the intruder was holding a knife and became increasingly concerned for her safety.
"I was scared and distressed," the petrified motorist said.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Miss Martin handed the robber a plastic wallet containing about £30 cash, which was a collection for a colleague.
She said: "He said he just wanted some money. I said I did not have any and asked him to leave me alone.
"I then remembered I had the money in the bag so I went in the bag to pick that out.
"I looked across and saw he had got a knife pointing at me.
"I handed him my bag. I said, 'There is money in there, just take the bag and leave me alone'.
"He did not want to take the bag, he just wanted the money."
Miss Martin said the wallet was broken and the cash had fallen out. But she collected it and put it back in the wallet and gave it the robber.
She pleaded with him to leave her alone.
"I said, 'Can you leave me alone? You have got the money'," said Miss Martin, who sped off when she realised he had gone.
Miss Martin went straight to Longton police station following the robbery near The Crown Hotel at 10.10pm on Friday, August 31.
Podmore, aged 37, of St Mary's Road, Longton, was arrested about a week later, on September 7.
He was picked out by Miss Martin at an identification procedure the same day. She told the court she was '100 per cent certain' it was him.
Podmore denied robbery, saying he was at home with his partner, Joan Fenton. He said Miss Martin was mistaken in identifying him and suggested she may have recognised him from pictures on Facebook – a claim Miss Martin described as 'ludicrous'.
But Podmore was convicted by a jury yesterday. He was also dealt with for burglary and criminal damage which he admitted at an earlier hearing. The burglary happened the day before the robbery and a multi-tool with a knife containing Podmore's DNA was found in the kitchen and a kitchen knife was left in the victim's first floor bedroom.
Anis Ali, mitigating, said the robbery lacked premeditation, it was short-lived and no injury was caused – but added that Podmore recognises the anxiety and trauma he caused.
Jailing Podmore for eight years, Judge Granville Styler said: "You produced a knife, which terrified this young woman.
"She had to have two weeks off work as a result.
"You got in her car, which made it very much more frightening for the victim."