A 25-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for four and a half years for a knifepoint robbery on a foreign student.
Angelo Kyprianou, of Hartfield Road, appeared at Hove Crown Court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to robbery.
The court heard that on the evening of Monday, April 11, Kyprianou approached a small group of teenage Austrian students standing at a bus stop in Terminus Road.
A verbal confrontation broke out and Kyprianou demanded money from the young students and threatened to kill them with a knife that he had concealed within a bandage on his right arm.
One of the students was persuaded to hand over £25 before Kyprianou made off.
Kyprianou was arrested later on suspicion of robbery, was charged the following day and remanded in custody until his court appearance last week.
After he was sentenced, Detective Constable David Satchwell from Eastbourne CID said, “The long sentence sends out a clear message that Sussex Police will not tolerate this type of criminality against foreign students.
“Although no-one was injured, it was a terrifying experience for these young people who believed their lives were in danger.
“We will deal with such incidents robustly and seek the maximum penalty. So, if anyone is thinking of targeting foreign students visiting Eastbourne, think again.”
Eastbourne District Commander Jayne Dando said, “Eastbourne is a popular destination for many foreign students who come to study, learn English and also have fun.
“Some stay for a few days, others for several months.
“For many foreign language students there will be no need for them to ever make contact with the police but for some, sadly, they will have to speak to the police on occasions to report a crime or racist incident.
“Sussex Police decided to address this issue some years ago by creating Operation Columbus designed to try and ensure the safety of EFL students during their stay in seaside towns like Eastbourne.
“Should any EFL schools in Eastbourne want a Safety in Eastbourne talk given by designated officers and designed especially for EFL students then they can use the contact details below for further information or to arrange a visit.”