Update: Man to appear in court after being charged with armed robbery at Norwich store

The Earlham Shopper at the Earlham West Centre, where there has been a knife point robbery today. Picture: Denise Bradley The Earlham Shopper at the Earlham West Centre, where there has been a knife point robbery today. Picture: Denise Bradley

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
9:37 AM

A 55-year-old man is due to appear in court this morning in connection with a knifepoint robbery at a Norwich shop.

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Earlham Shopper owner, Nigel Dowdney, after the robbery at his shop at Earlham West Centre. Picture: Denise BradleyEarlham Shopper owner, Nigel Dowdney, after the robbery at his shop at Earlham West Centre. Picture: Denise Bradley

Kevin Laskey, of Beecheno Road, Norwich, is accused of robbing the Earlham Shopper, Earlham West Centre, of £200.

It follows an incident yesterday where police were called to the store shortly after 1.20pm after a man had allegedly entered the store, threatened staff and got away with cash.

He was remanded in custody overnight at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre and will appear at Norwich Magistrates Court this morning.

The robbery, which happened at about 1.20pm yesterday, is the second in just a few days after cigarettes and alcohol were stolen following an incident at the West Earlham store on January 9.

Nigel Dowdney, who owns the store and is a director of and East Anglian spokesman of the Association of Convenience Stores, has today vowed to carry on despite admitting he did briefly consider whether it was all worth it after being informed of the latest raid.

He said: “I definitely won’t let them beat me. I’m shaken but not stirred - we don’t give up.

“I got a call to say we had been held up again and driving over here I thought ‘is it worth it?’. You work long hours and to have someone barge in here and take your profits makes you wonder whether its worth it. But 25 years we’ve been here and my father 16 years before that so we’re not looking to move on but it does annoy you.”

The female worker was left “shaken” following the incident and was sent home but is expected to be back at work today.

Mr Dowdney said those who commit these sort of offences do not realise the affect it has not only on those who are confronted by them - but also on the rest of the staff.

He said: “The worst part is the affect it has on staff. We work long hours and are here a lot of the time and although there’s always two people here they have to come in early in the morning and late at night and it makes them extremely nervous.

“It’s all staff, not just those that are here when the attack takes place. The perpetrator doesn’t think of the affect it has on the business like this. “We serve the local community and cannot do anything without our staff.”

The shop was closed for a few hours after yesterday’s incident to allow scenes of crime officers to carry out their investigations but then reopened and is open again today as normal.

Mr Dowdney warned others who are thinking of carrying out raids at the store that it is covered by several CCTV cameras inside and out which means anyone thinking of targeting the shop was “more than likely to be caught”.

A man fled the scene with cash following the robbery which was attended by officers who detained a suspect nearby. A knife and cash has been seized.

The man was taken to Wymondham Police Investigation Centre where he was expected to be questioned yesterday.

It is the second separate attack on the West Earlham based store in just a few weeks.

Earlier this month we reported how a man charged with the robbery at the store at about 6.10am on January 9 will appear at Norwich Crown Court later this month.

Darryl Hindley, 20, of no fixed abode, appeared before magistrates in Norwich on Saturday, January 11 charged with robbery.

The charge relates to the robbery on January 9 in which cigarettes and alcohol were taken.

Hindley spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

The court was told that two one-litre bottles of vodka and six or seven packets of cigarettes were stolen in the robbery.

No pleas were entered and the case was sent to Norwich Crown Court. No application for bail was made and Hindley was remanded in custody until a preliminary crown court hearing on January 27.

A 19-year-old man was also arrested in connection with the incident, and has since been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information to either robbery should call Norwich CID on 101.

Have you got a crime story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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