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Knife robbers Roland Berko and Erik Mata addicted to skunk cannabis mugged victims in Dover

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Knife-wielding robbers addicted to cannabis who targeted victims in town centre attacks have been locked up for more than 10 years.

Roland Berko and Erik Mata, 22 and 19, struck Dover at night in two separate muggings just days apart in January 2019.

Roland Berko
Roland Berko

Berko has now been jailed for six years and nine months at Canterbury Crown Court, whereas Mata will be held in a Young Offenders Institute for four years.

Handing down the sentence a judge said the “abusive use of powerful drug skunk cannabis” played a significant role in their actions.

The duo, alongside an unidentified male, rounded on a 38-year-old man near Dover Priory in Station Approach.

One robber grabbed hold of him shouting “I’m a police officer give me your bag” as another put his hand over his mouth to stifle his screams.

The first robber pulled the bag with such force it dragged the victim into an alleyway where his belongings and £120 were taken.

Three days later they coaxed a boy, 17, into a town centre car park at about 7.30pm where one brandished a kitchen knife and held it to his ribs.

Another shouted “You move you get hurt” as they patted him down, stealing his phone and £8.

A third individual pleaded guilty to robbery earlier this year and was sentenced to 15 months in a Young Offenders’ Institute.

Berko and Mata, both Polish nationals, denied the robberies but were convicted on “overwhelming evidence” following a trial earlier this year.

Berko was also sentenced for separate matters after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary and one of handling stolen goods at a previous hearing.

The court heard he targeted elderly people in a Dover home after stealing their door key.

Erik Mata
Erik Mata

But he was caught when their son found Berko inside the property the next day and performed a citizen’s arrest.

Both men were addicted to cannabis and suffered mental health issues, a probation report said.

Judge James O’Mahony told the pair: “In my judgement, after reading the reports, that abusive use of the powerful drug skunk cannabis has been a significant factor in the issues concerned, which everyone helps will improve.”

Berko, of De Burgh Hill, was sentenced for two counts of robbery, two counts of burglary and one of handling stolen goods.

A separate count of burglary was asked to lie on file.

Mata, of King Street, who was 17 at the time of the offences, was sentenced for two counts of robbery.

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Courts Crime Dover Kent Sean Axtell



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