A VALENTINE’S Day robber who stole debit cards at knifepoint then made transactions totalling £370 has been jailed.

A man suffered a cut to his leg and was punched in the face before being threatened and had his bag and wallet stolen near Grays train station at 8.30pm on February 14.

The victim, in his 30s, had left the station and walked along Church Path when he was approached from behind and attacked by two men.

When his attackers escaped he gave chase and CCTV subsequently capture the men – one of whom had a meat cleaver – running away.

The investigation established the men had got into a taxi outside the railway station.

One of the men was dropped at the Post Office in Riverview, Chadwell St Mary.

He was then captured on CCTV going into the store and attempting, but being declined, to make a transaction.

Further enquiries identified that cards stolen from the victim’s wallet were used in a number of shops with transactions totalling more than £370.

Officers viewed these images and he was identified as 23-year-old Nathan McKenzie, of Aluric Close, Grays.

When he was arrested on 7 March officers recovered a knife he had been seen to dispose of into a nearby bin.

He was later charged with robbery, possession of a knife in a public place, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, and fraud by false representation.

He admitted the charges and, at Basildon Crown Court, was subsequently sentenced to four and-a-half years in prison.

Investigating officer PC Paul Lamb, from Grays CID, branded McKenzie a “dangerous offender”.

He said: “Nathan McKenzie is a dangerous offender who appears to have few concerns about threatening violence to get what he wants.

“He carried out a litany of offences including carrying weapons in a very public place.

“This is simply not acceptable.

“Diligent work by our officers led to him being identified and he now faces significant time behind bars.

“Essex will no doubt be a safer place with him in prison and I hope he takes the opportunity to reflect on his actions in prison.”