21st Nov, 2017

Coventry University student robbed at knifepoint by another student

Coventry Editorial 23rd Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A COVENTRY student was robbed at knifepoint during a 30-minute ordeal after three men burst into his room before leaving him tied up in his shower.

The terrifying ordeal included a knife being held to his neck.

And at Warwick Crown Court one of his attackers, himself a former Coventry University student, was jailed for a total of seven years.

Andy Salhotra (21) who has since moved to Southall, London, had originally denied being involved but pleaded guilty to the robbery on the day of his trial.

He was jailed for six years for that offence, with a consecutive 12-month sentence for a street robbery which he had also admitted.

Prosecutor Simon Rippon said that in March last year a Coventry University student was in his room in accommodation in King William Street when Salhotra and two others walked in.

He was on his computer when his door, which was not locked, opened and he turned to see Salhotra and one of the others.

When he asked what they were doing, Salhotra, who had a previous conviction for robbery in 2011, demanded: “Give me all you’ve got.”

The student refused, at which Salhotra pulled out a knife and told him: “Don’t be difficult. Give me everything you’ve got.”

He was ordered to sit down, and when he tried to get up, the second man also produced a knife which he felt being pushed against his back after being grabbed and held face-down on the bed.

A third man then came in and his room was searched as he was being held down, and when one of them found his bank card he was asked for the pin number.

At first he refused, but when a knife was pressed to his neck, he told them – and was held in the room while one of the robbers went to use his card to withdraw £200.

After that man returned with the cash, the student had his wrists and ankles tied and was bundled into the shower room before they left with his bank cards, phone, the withdrawn cash and a further £50 from his wallet.

When he was arrested at the end of July Salhotra claimed he had gone there in the hope of buying drugs, and that he was taken by surprise by the actions of the other two, in which he said he was not involved.

The day before his arrest Salhotra had been involved in the robbery of a young man who was sitting in the passenger seat of a car in Southall when the door was open and a £1200 gold chain was ripped from round his neck.

Helen Easterbrook, defending, said: “He moved to Coventry to conduct a degree course, but was not paying as much attention to his studies as he should have done and fell in with others who were a bad influence on him.”

But she said that since moving back to Southall, he has been working with a number of voluntary organisations, including a homeless shelter, and is now doing a BSc at Greenwich University.

Jailing Salhotra, Recorder Adrian Redgrave QC told him: “The most serious offence is that of robbery on the 1st of May last year when you and two others went into the room of that student, each of you armed with a knife.

“Demand was made for whatever he had, and his ordeal lasted for something over half an hour.

“Then six months later you committed a robbery of somebody in the street.”

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