A SINGLE mum has spoken of the moment she was robbed at knife-point as her six-year-old daughter watched from her car.
Lorraine Robson had pulled over at the cashpoint next to the post office in Hylton Road on a Saturday morning in June when balaclava-clad Kurt Dixon struck.
Dixon has now been jailed for 40 months by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court after being convicted of the robbery on June 7, and possession of a knife.
The 22-year-old, of Padgate Road, Pennywell, was also sentenced at the same time for robbing the Hylton Road News store less than a fortnight earlier.
“I went to the cashpoint at 8.45am,” Lorraine, 36, told the Echo. “I had my six-year-old daughter with me as we were on our way to her performing arts school.
“There was a male standing outside. He was on his bike and on the telephone arguing with someone about money. I looked at him and then looked away again.
“I put my card into the machine. I knew someone was standing behind me so I asked for a my balance to be printed and then asked for £20. The next thing I knew he was standing side by side with me. He was wearing a balaclava and had a knife.”
Lorraine said Dixon demanded money from her, which she gave him. But he then demanded more, with Lorraine forced to showing him the bank statement to prove she didn’t have any.
She said Dixon hurled abuse at her before riding off on his bike.
Now Lorraine, an accountant, has chosen to speak out about the devastating effect the robbery has had on her and her two daughters, aged six and 14.
“I got in the car and locked the door,” she said. “I was in a bubble. The car alarm started to go off and I didn’t have a clue what the noise was. Then I rang 999.
“My six-year-old was crying. They made me stay on the phone until someone arrived. Then a police car came round the corner and an officer came and sat in the passenger seat. Then police car after police car arrived.
“I didn’t really get the severity of the situation at the time, I think it affected me more afterwards. My focus was my six-year-old daughter who was in the back and whether she had seen anything. She said she saw the naughty man leave on his bike and that it was a red bike.”
Lorraine had hoped the court case would bring closure and she had planned to be there to see Dixon’s reaction to her victim impact statement.
But the case was brought back to court at short notice and she did not find out about the sentencing until afterwards.
“It has massively affected me,” she said. “I work from home and it’s affected my work. I was locking myself in the house and the only time I felt safe was if I was in my car.
“My parents live in Spain and they returned home the same day. I wasn’t getting any sleep and it affected my daughter as I couldn’t get up to take her to school some days. My older daughter was missing out on activities.
It affected every part of my life. I lost weight, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. But the worst thing was seeing my six-year-old so upset that she couldn’t go to her drama class.”