'˜Get out of the car or I will stab you' - thief who threatened shopper jailed for three years

A man who stole a car from a shopper at Tesco in Boston after claiming to have a knife was has been jailed for three years and two months.
Adam CliftonAdam Clifton
Adam Clifton

Adam Clifton, 30, approached the man as he sat in his car with his engine running waiting for his partner to finish her shopping.

Lincoln Crown Court heard today (Monday) that the car owner noticed Clifton going to the passenger side of his vehicle before opening his driver’s side door.

Duncan Smith, prosecuting, said Clifton swore at the driver and then told him: “Get out of the car or I will stab you.”

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At the same time Clifton indicated that he had something in his pocket, the court was told.

Mr Smith said the driver dropped his mobile phone and wallet on the floor, and then asked for his wallet back after Clifton picked it up.

The court heard Clifton drove out of the car park in the vehicle and seven minutes later triggered an AMPR camera on Sleaford Road which led to a police pursuit.

During the pursuit Clifton drove towards Frieston at 80mph in a 40mph zone, at one stage was on the wrong side of the road and then went through a red light on Bargate after returning to Boston.

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Court news.

He was arrested near John Adams Way after a police officer broke one of the car’s windows after it came to a halt.

Clifton was not found to have a knife but a police officer did report seeing something being thrown from the car during the pursuit.

Neil Sands, mitigating, said while there was a threat of a weapon Clifton did not actually produce a knife.

Mr Sands told the court Clifton had been using alcohol to help him sleep after suffering personal problems and this mixed with prescription drugs he was taking for depression.

The court heard Clifton had been working at a local Little Chef but through no fault of his own the business was facing a reorganisation.

Mr Sands: “He was at the end of his tether and perhaps just snapped. He has little recollection.”

Clifton, of Elsham Terrace, Boston, admitted robbery and dangerous driving on 12 January, this year. He was also banned from driving for two years and will face a retest.

Passing sentence Recorder Andrew Easteal told Clifton on any view his actions were very serious.

Recorder Easteal said: “You pulled open the car door, swore at him and very clearly gave him the impression you had a knife.”

The Recorder told Clifton his driving was then very dangerous and a threat to other road users.