Brighton man jailed for racial abuse and possessing a knife in 'antisocial behaviour spree'

Robert Lonsdale
Robert Lonsdale

A Brighton man who went on an anti-social behaviour spree has been jailed, police said.

Robert Lonsdale, 37, of North Road, Brighton, appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday (May 23) to be sentenced for seven different offences.

Sussex Police said officers were alerted by staff in Tesco Express in Denmark Villas, Hove on January 12 to reports of Lonsdale being in possession of a knife.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said: "Unemployed Lonsdale took and then threw a sandwich from a shelf, threatened to harm the staff and ran away.

"Lonsdale then crossed the road and entered the Esso Garage where he racially abused a woman in front of her two children. He then attempted to steal a mobile phone off a staff member.

"When he was unsuccessful, Lonsdale assaulted the young man and threw a number of items on the floor causing £100 worth of damage.

"Lonsdale was arrested in a nearby road following further calls from members of the public about a man throwing bottles in the street.

"He was charged with possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, theft from shop, racially aggravated intentional harassment or alarm or distressing words or writing, affray, attempted theft from a person, criminal damage and the possession of cannabis."

Lonsdale was sentenced to 33-months in prison, to include a nine-month suspended sentence.

Investigating officer Rose Horan said: “Lonsdale showed a complete lack of regard for his community by his boorish and antisocial behaviour, brandishing a weapon in a supermarket and using foul and unpleasant racist language towards a mother in the presence of her young children.

"Once the defendant was inside the garage, he used violence towards the young attendant leading him to believe he had come into contact with aids, and caused extensive damage within the premises.

“In the interview Lonsdale admitted he was intoxicated while the offences took place and despite being shown CCTV, he couldn’t remember committing some of the offences.

"He even admitted that if he had realised the sandwich he had taken from the shelf was cheese and pickle he would have eaten it and not thrown it back.

“We welcome the sentence Lonsdale has been given by the courts and hope it sends out a clear message to those who carry knives and target individuals based on their race, and that it provides some justice for those involved."