A man used a fake police badge to pose as an officer to con his way into the back room of a family-run business to steal money and valuables worth up to £90,000.

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Kevin Ross used a claw hammer to threaten a shop worker at Cash Inn, a pawnbrokers at Market Gates in Great Yarmouth, before making off with £20,000 in cash and jewellery worth between £50,000 and £70,000.

The 39-year-old, of Hall Lane, North Walsham, was found guilty at Norwich Crown Court yesterday of the robbery, and possession of an offensive weapon.

During the robbery on December 13, Ross told the employee he was a police officer trying to trace items he had brought in his briefcase.

After being let through to the back of the shop, he pulled the hammer from the case and ordered the worker to empty the safe, while he filled bags with jewellery.

He asked the 64-year-old employee his age, and told him: “If you want to see your 65th birthday, do everything I say.” He then struck him on the head.

The employee told the court during the trial: “It seemed like a life or death situation.”

At the end of the raid the employee was pushed into the shop toilet, where he waited until he heard Ross leave and called the police.

Ross arranged for a friend to drive him to Essex the following day, where he was eventually arrested by police.

Ross had at first claimed the robbery was an insurance job, but investigations showed the pawnbrokers did not have insurance.

He later claimed the robbery had been organised by a third party as a way of paying off his drug debt and that he had hit the employee in the heat of the moment.

After the verdicts were returned by the jury, Ross shook his head in the dock.

His sentence has been adjourned for a date to be fixed.

Recorder Guy Ayres told him the report would assess what sort of “danger” he poses to the public.

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