A 17-YEAR-old youth whose bid to rob a Tesco store in Gloucester was thwarted by the captain of a Nailsworth football team has been sentenced to two years and eight months in a young offender’s institution.
The Gloucester youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at Gloucester crown court to robbery and the possession of a hammer as an offensive weapon on January 6 this year.
Gloucester Crown Court heard yesterday that he targeted the Tesco Express store, in Mead Road, Abbeymead, shortly after 9.40pm.
The prosecutor Alun Williams said: “The youth arrived at the store having disguised his bike with duct tape.
“An eye witness and an off duty police inspector notice that he had a hammer in his hand and his face was partially covered.
“The youth then went into the store and approached the woman on the tills who was immediately frightened when she saw him with a hammer in his right hand. He raised it above his head and had a covering over his face.
“He demanded, ‘give me the money,’ in an aggressive way. She felt so scared that she froze. He then said to her, ‘I’ll smash your face in,’ at which point she felt she had to do as he asked.
“She put the notes into a pillow case that he provided. He then demanded that she put the money from the other two tills into the pillow case.
“He then went to leave the store when he was apprehended by a police Inspector who was off duty at the time. The youth told the inspector he had been smoking cannabis.”
He was taken to Gloucestershire Police’s custody unit where he was shown the CCTV footage and smirked at his actions.
The court heard that the youth had been convicted at Lincoln Crown Court in May last year of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon in a very similar incident at a Co-op in Burton Road, Lincoln.
Joe Maloney defending said: “This is a very serious issue. He is suffering from events three years ago that affected him ever since. This includes the break-up of his parents and his father suffering from serious injuries which has left him partially disabled.
“This young man has accepted that what he has done is wrong.”
Judge Michael Cullum said: “You prepared for the robbery. You covered your face, you took with you a hammer and disguised your bike.
“Had I been shown the CCTV it would have been horrifying.”
Criticising the Crown Prosecution Service at the end of the hearing the judge said: “It is utterly shameful in a case where there is CCTV evidence that a judge isn’t shown the footage in court.”
Although not referred to in court, Shortwood United captain Tom Hoskins also played a part in the incident, chasing after the youth and knocking him off his bike as he rode away.