'I've got a needle and I'll use it': Woman who threatened to stab people with syringe in Cambridgeshire is jailed for six years
PUBLISHED: 14:26 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:26 20 July 2018
A woman who threatened to stab people with a syringe in Peterborough has been jailed for six years.
Gemma Francis committed a string of robberies across the city using needles and threatened victims, forcing them to hand over cash.
The 29-year-old approached a woman who was on her way to Peterborough train station at around 6.30am on Thursday May 10 and demanded £20 in cash. She said: “I’ve got a needle and I’ll use it.”
Ten minutes later Francis approached a cyclist nearby in Park Road and held her arm out, causing him to brake suddenly.
She held a needle to his throat and demanded he empty his pockets. She took his mobile phone and fled.
DC Mark Clapham said: “The violent threats made by Francis have understandably caused her victims significant distress.
“This sentence will mean that she is not able to harm any member of the public for a long time.”
On June 11, Francis entered the Tesco Express on Oundle Road, Peterborough, at around 6am and attempted to steal a bottle of wine by putting it under her top.
When confronted by the store manager, she pulled out a needle and said “I’ll stab you with this and give you aids”.
Less than an hour later she got in a taxi from the Herlington Centre to Phorpres House in Fletton.
Francis could not pay for the taxi and demanded the driver pay her £5. She also pulled out a syringe and said “I’ve got HIV, I’ll give it to you.”
The driver got out and Francis took £25 before leaving.
Francis, of no fixed address, was identified by officers through CCTV footage and arrested on Sunday June 24.
She pleaded guilty to four counts of robbery and was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday (July 13).