Three years for man who robbed Norwich shop

Darryl Hindley was sentenced to three years in prison for robbery. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary Darryl Hindley was sentenced to three years in prison for robbery. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
3:34 PM

A man who stole cigarettes and vodka from a shop after he threatened shop staff with a weapon has been sentenced.

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Darryl Hindley, 20, of no fixed abode but who had previously lived at Beecheno Road, Norwich, appeared at Norwich Crown Court after previously admitting a robbery at the Earlham Shopper in West Earlham on January 9 this year.

Hindley, who appeared in white jumper and jeans, was also dealt with for a burglary at the UEA in 2008 which he admitted and asked for six other matters to be taken into consideration.

Sentencing Hindley to a total of three years, Judge Katharine Moore that the two female shop assistants were so frightened by the robbery, during which Hindley waved the metal implement around, that they had been left “scared at home and scared at work”.

Judge Moore said: “The supervisor and assistant opened up at 6am and began sorting out the papers but to their horror they heard a forceful thud and you walked in, scarf across your face and had an implement in your hand.

“You walked behind the counter indicating that you would take some cigarettes and asked where the vodka was.”

She added: “They were so scared that you got just what you wanted - six to seven packets of cigarettes and two bottles of vodka.”

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

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said Hindley, who has 33 offences on his record, entered the store shortly after it had been opened up and went into a staff area behind the till where cigarettes and alcohol were kept.

Mr Spence said the assistants saw Hindley with a weapon in his hand and were scared for their safety.

A second man, also wearing a scarf and a hood, stood at the entrance of the shop but did not enter.

After getting cigarettes and the alcohol the two men left the store.

Mr Spence said stores like the Earlham Shopper relied on much of their income by the fact they were open when other stores were not - early in morning and late at night - but added this made them “particularly vulnerable as a result”.

Hindley was recognised on CCTV by a police officer and arrested.

During interview he declined to comment but later admitted his part in a number of offences, including a burglary at UEA in 2008 when he entered an open window and stole a laptop from a student’s room as she slept. He ran when he heard her scream.

The court heard the victim even now is still scared by the experience and for weeks afterwards could not sleep alone in her room.

Hindley admitted that offence to police and was later charged and pleaded guilty.

He also asked for six other matters to be taken into consideration, including theft from a dwelling, criminal damage and theft from a motor vehicle.

Jonathan Goodman, mitigating, said Hindley, from the age of about 13 had been a “nuisance” to “the community, his family and himself” which was borne out by his record.

Mr Goodman said: “Engaging in drink and dabbling in recreational drugs – quite frankly, being feral –has been Darryl Hindley’s life.”

But Mr Goodman said the court and defendant’s family must hope this was the end of the line for Darryl Hindley’s criminal career.

He said the robbery offence had “pushed up the ante” of his offending but added that Hindley had wanted to get everything off his chest, which was why he also admitted the burglary and asked for other offences to be TIC’d.

Mr Goodman said Hindley knew he was going to spend a considerable amount of time in custody but had changed his attitude and was going to make the best of it.

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