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Man admits horror hold-ups at three Norwich shops and knifepoint robbery of city taxi driver

PUBLISHED: 13:27 03 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:23 03 May 2019

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with three shop robberies in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk police

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with three shop robberies in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk police

Archant

A man has admitted carrying out a string of armed robberies in Norwich, targeting three convenience stores in nine days and also robbing a taxi driver of his day's takings.

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with three shop robberies in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk policePolice have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with three shop robberies in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk police

Shaun Hayes, 28, admitted robbing Just News and Convenience shop on Nelson Street, on March 5, when money was handed over from the till after staff were threatened.

He also admitted robbing the One Stop shop on Woodcock Road, a week later on March 12, and then carrying out a third robbery two days later when he held up Waterloo Food and Wine shop in Waterloo Road.

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with three shop robberies in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk policePolice have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with three shop robberies in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk police

Sritharan Thraramlingam, 47, the owner, was alone in the shop at the time and he was threatened before Hayes, who was with another man, escaped with cigarettes and tobacco.

The final robbery was on March 31, when he robbed a taxi driver, who had just dropped off a fare in George Pope Road.

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with three shop robberies in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk policePolice have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with three shop robberies in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk police

Hayes approached the driver, who is in his 50s, and then threatened him at knife-point causing a minor injury to the driver's stomach before making him hand over the day's takings. Hayes then made his getaway on a bike, cycling off towards Penn Grove.

The taxi driver, who had to have two to three days off following the incident, was given a flood of support from well-wishers after the incident.

Waterloo Food & Wine in Waterloo Road, Norwich.Picture: StaffWaterloo Food & Wine in Waterloo Road, Norwich.Picture: Staff

Hayes, who appeared at Norwich Crown Court over a video link from Norwich prison, admitted the four robberies but denied theft of a Samsung tablet on February 26 and denied having an offensive weapon on March 5.

Richard Paterson, prosecuting, said the pleas were accepted by the Crown and said the other charges would lie on file.

The Just News and Convenience store on Nelson Street. Photo: NorwichThe Just News and Convenience store on Nelson Street. Photo: Norwich

David Stewart, for Hayes, asked for a pre-sentence report.

Judge Anthony Bate remanded Hayes in custody and asked that the report assessed what danger Hayes posed.

The One Stop on Woodcock Road where a robbery took place. Photo: Lauren CopeThe One Stop on Woodcock Road where a robbery took place. Photo: Lauren Cope

Judge Bate adjourned sentence until June 19 and told him: “Custody is inevitable.”

After the robbery the taxi driver, who had been working in the industry for more than 25 years, thanked everyone for the support he had received and the camaraderie he had got from colleagues and hoped it would not happen again to fellow drivers in the city.

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