A Nottingham pharmacy student was the final victim of heroin addict Simrit Khera.
Kim Kotchanski was made to hand over £20 after Khera threatened to attack her with a syringe in September 2005. She was the last of six victims similarly targeted by the addict, who would ask for change for the bus before producing a syringe, telling some of her victims she was infected with AIDS.
Ms Kotchanski explained: "She [said she] needed two tenners for a £20 note. She had a blank piece of paper in her hand and I was suspicious. She wanted me to hand her my money first and then said ‘I’ll stick this syringe in you’."
The student had already been asked for money by Khera on other occasions, so acceded in this instance, saying: "I was not scared – I just wanted her stopped."
Recorder Douglas Herbert chastised the drug addict for her actions, saying: "People walking along the streets day and night minding their own business are stopped by someone like you and threatened, which causes real fear. They were threatened that they would be stuck with syringe. I accept that you didn’t have a syringe on you."
"They were afraid. It is said that the manner of the threat was vicious and you grabbed hold of people. People should be entitled to walk the streets without bumping into people who act in this way."
Khera’s defence lawyer said she had had no problems until the age of 21, when she had gone "completely off the rails. She is determined to beat her addiction," he added. "She comes from a close, loving family."
PC Julie Twining, however, says she found Khera "devious and calculating," concluding: "She is slightly built and politely spoken, but looks could be deceiving. People were shocked when she approached and threatened them.
Khera pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, robbery and theft, and was sent to prison for two and a half years, minus the 152 days she had already spent on remand. Khera had previously been to court for shoplifting and two separate charges of theft.