Masked robber who theatened shop worker with knife is jailed

First published in Local

A MASKED robber who held up a corner shop in Studley with a knife and grabbed cash from the till has been jailed.

Christopher Dawson, of Eldorado Close, Studley, went into Costcutter in High Street at about 5.30pm on January 13 this year and demanded the shopkeeper open the till, Michael Conry, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court.

His hood was up and he had a multi-coloured scarf over his face, Mr Conry said, but the shopkeeper thought she recognised him because he lived not far away. He had a kitchen knife and he reached over and grabbed £300 from the till before running off.

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to robbery and having the kitchen knife in a public place. He also pleaded guilty to charges of having an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour relating to an incident in A1 Taxis in Redditch in the early hours of November 28 last year.

Mr Conry said Dawson had no money to pay for a taxi but had said he wanted to go to Winyates. The taxi driver took him to the office where he continued to be aggressive and showed the staff a knuckleduster and a bullet he was carrying from a 20 gauge shotgun. He also had a bottle of port and when they refused to take him in a taxi, he smashed this on railings outside and continued to make threats.

Richard Hull, defending, said Dawson worked for his uncle as a landscape gardener but the work was seasonal and when he was not employed he went drinking and became a nuisance.

He said the robbery was not carefully planned as Dawson had just gone to the shop around the corner. He has apologised and said it won't happen again. He had a baby with his partner and his family were being supportive.

Judge Michael Cullum said Dawson had been drunk and abusive in the taxi office and it had been a frightening experience for the shopkeeper, who had been forced to change her place of work after many years serving the community.

He gave Dawson three months for having the knuckleduster and two months for having the shotgun cartridge, to run concurrently with three months for the threatening behaviour. He was given three years for the robbery, which was committed while he was on bail from the first incident, and 12 months concurrent for having the knife, making a total sentence of three years and five months.

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