Robber who held knife to throat of customer during robbery Nationwide HQ receives four-year jail sentence

Aleksandrs Agurjanovs
Aleksandrs Agurjanovs

A robber who held a five inch knife to the throat of a customer during an attempted robbery at the Nationwide Building Society in Northampton has received a jail sentence of four years and eight months.

Aleksandrs Agurjanovs, of Cliftonville Court, appeared at Northampton Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to robbery, attempted robbery, and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon.

The court heard the 34-year-old walked into the Nationwide branch in Moulton Park on July 31 and held a knife to the throat of a customer who was at the counter.

James Thomas, prosecuting, said the cashier managed to alert her colleague and a security button was pressed which brought down the shutters.

Agurjanovs then stole a mobile phone off the customer and ran off out of the branch.

Mr Thomas said the customer pursued Agurjanovs and alerted people nearby who also ran after him.

But he said Agurjanovs, who was still holding the knife, then moved towards one of the people who had followed him and said “do you want some?” and “don’t bother”.

Later on that day, Agurjanovs, a Latvian national, handed himself into Weston Favell Police Station and admitted he had carried out the attempted robbery.

Police officers also found a metal bar in his bag as well as the knife.

Mr Thomas read out a victim impact statement from the customer in the Nationwide branch who said he had been left unable to sleep after the incident.

The Nationwide cashier, who attended court, read out her victim impact statement in which she said the attempted robbery had had a profound impact on her life.

The woman said she had only just returned to work and was still experiencing high levels of anxiety.

She said she could no longer go anywhere alone and felt the incident had “changed her as a person”.

The court heard that in police interview, Agurjanovs admitted he was addicted to heroin and crack cocaine and had sold the mobile phone to buy drugs.

Agurjanovs also committed the offence when he was on licence, having being sentenced to 18 weeks in jail in May this year after he pleaded guilty to two burglaries.

Recorder Timothy Green said it was a “very serious offence” that was extremely frightening for the customer and the Nationwide cashier.

He sentenced Agurjanovs to a total of 52 months in custody. He is likely to serve half in jail before being released on licence. He must pay £1,020 costs.