Robber who stabbed husband and wife in jewellery shop raid is jailed

·3-min read
Joshua Packman attacked the shop owners after pulling out a knife inside the store  (Met police)
Joshua Packman attacked the shop owners after pulling out a knife inside the store (Met police)

A robber who stabbed a husband and wife during a terrifying raid on their jewellery store has been jailed for eight years.

Joshua Packman, 28, pulled out a knife within seconds of being buzzed through the front door of Gold Leaf Jewellers in North Finchley.

Shop owners Mukesh and Deepa Rathod both suffered stab wounds as they desperately tussled with the robber in a bid to protect their business while a heroic customer came to their aid by smashing Packman over the head with a mirror, Harrow crown court heard.

Packman eventually fled with just Mrs Rathod’s purse and used her bank card for a £230 shopping spree.

When he was eventually caught, the robber attacked two police officers and had to be Tasered to the ground.

Packman held his head in his hands as the details of his crimes were read aloud in court before Judge Vanessa Francis sentenced him to eight years in prison and an extra four years on licence once he is released.

“Everyone inside the shop was clearly terrified by what you did, and Mrs Rathod rightly believed you were prepared to do harm to her and everyone else,” she said.

“It is clear your only thought was for yourself and your needs – the troubling part of the case is you were prepared to use such an extreme amount of violence for such a little return.”

The court heard the Rathods have struggled with sleepless nights, battled with their childrens’ concerns for their safety and have had to increase security at their family-run shop.

Packman carried out the violent robbery at around 1pm on October 20, 2020, entering the shop while a customer was being served.

“As soon as he went in, Mrs Rathod noticed he was holding out a knife with his right hand,” said prosecutor Tom Parker. “He walked towards the shop counter area with real purpose.”

Mrs Rathod grabbed hold of the knife and began struggling with Packman, the court heard, and her husband rushed to her aid.

“The customer picked up a display mirror and hit the defendant on the back of the head, but the defendant continued to struggle with the Rathods”, said the prosecutor.

“He was lashing out with the knife and trying to smash the glass cabinets.”

When Packman “overpowered” the couple, he went to the workshop area and stole Mrs Rathod’s handbag before fleeing.

She had suffered a cut to her hand in the struggle, while her husband had been stabbed in the side.

Packman, who has a litany of previous convictions including robbery and assaults on police, received a suspended prison sentence last February for carrying a kitchen knife in public near to his Mill Hill home.

The court heard he suffers from mental health problems including a personality disorder, had stopped taking his medication, and had started smoking cannabis.

“He had this idea that the bank was shut, he needed cash, and he would go into the jewellers and help himself,” said his barrister, Tony Ventham.

“He still can’t explain why he had a knife with him, but clearly this wasn’t premeditated.”

The judge noted Packman has a “life-long” mental health condition as she ruled that he poses an ongoing danger to the public.

She awarded the customer £800 for “extreme bravery” by intervening, praising her “courage and determination when she must have been so afraid for herself”.

Packman - who pleaded guilty to robbery, attempted robbery, fraud, threatening a person with a blade, wounding with intent, wounding, and two charges of common assault - must serve at least two thirds of his eight-year jail term. As a result of the extended sentence, he will be on licence until 2032.

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