'Get out or I'll stab you': Armed carjacker threatened man after 'waving and pointing at roadside'

Lennox French was handed a 
five-year prison sentence at Teesside Crown Court
Lennox French was handed a five-year prison sentence at Teesside Crown Court -Credit:Cleveland Police

A knife-wielding robber told a Good Samaritan "get out of the car or I'll stab you" after he pulled over to help the defendant.

Lennox French and his two accomplices - who cannot be named for legal reasons - preyed of the Ford driver as he travelled along Ormesby High Street. Teesside Crown Court heard it was around 1.25am on February 18 when the victim spotted the three males pointing and waving at him.

Concerned, the man pulled over as thought the trio may be in trouble. Prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court the males had their hoods up and faces covered and got into his vehicle.

She said: "One of the males [the defendant] immediately got in the front passenger door the other two got in the rear of the vehicle. The defendant pulled out a knife and shouted 'get out of the car or I'll stab you'. The man described fearing for his life."

Ms Masters said the man drove onto Ormesby petrol station forecourt and got out of his car and shouted at a member of staff to help him. However, as he did he was apprehended by one of the males.

She said: "One of them tackled him to the floor while the other attempted to take his car keys off him. They were eventually able to get his keys and the three of them drove off heading towards Cargo Fleet."

The Middlesbrough court heard officers spotted the Ford being driving on the A174 where they were able to catch up with them. However, the car continued travelling in the direction Guisborough.

Ms Masters said: "Officers from North Yorkshire Police were able to deploy a stinger device which was successful however, the defendant continued to drive the vehicle until the tyres deflated. The vehicle finally stopped and the three decamped the vehicle. There was a short foot chase."

The court heard the South Bank defendant was apprehended trying to climb over a fence. He later pleaded guilty to the following:

  • Robbery

  • Possession of an offensive weapon

  • Dangerous driving

  • Driving while disqualified

  • Failing to stop

  • Being in charge of a vehicle while over the alcohol limit

  • Driving without insurance

  • Failing to provide specimen

French, 23, also appeared to be sentenced for a separate offence of dangerous driving which he committed on April 13. The court heard he was being chased by police and only stopped when a stinger was deployed. The defendant admitted the offence.

In mitigation, the court heard the defendant experienced a difficult childhood and is using his time on remand at Durham Prison to gain qualifications in English and maths. French said he was remorseful and was handed a five-year prison sentence.