Gunman locked up for stroe raid

A robber who pointed a ball-bearing gun at the head of a terrified customer in a Norfolk convenience store in a bid to get a shopkeeper to hand over cash was yesterday sent to a young offenders institution for four years and nine months.

A robber who pointed a ball-bearing gun at the head of a terrified customer in a Norfolk convenience store in a bid to get a shopkeeper to hand over cash was yesterday sent to a young offenders institution for four years and nine months.

Scott Watkins, 20, of Moorland Way, Belton admitted the robbery at the One Stop Shop in Gorleston on September 3 last year and being in possession of the weapon and appeared for sentence at Norwich Crown Court.

Christopher Morgans, prosecuting, said that Adam Michael and June Willis had been working in the store at about 10.30pm when two men wearing balaclavas and brandishing hand guns walked in and grabbed a customer who was in the shop.

He said that Watkins was the man pointing the gun at the customer while his accomplice pointed his weapon at the two members of staff and demanded cash.

Mr Morgans said Mr Michael handed over £370 from the till and some lottery scratch cards were also taken.

Both men then ran from the shop and got away in a Fiat car. A sharp-eyed passer-by took down the registration number and the car was traced to Watkins. The robbery was also caught on closed-circuit camera.

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At first Watkins denied he was involved, but the guns and balaclavas were found in the car and DNA found on one of the balaclavas was linked to Watkins.

Sentencing him, Judge Alasdair Darroch said: “I have to protect the public and deter anyone from ever thinking of carrying out these sort of offences again.

Matthew McNiff, mitigating said: “He is finding it difficult coming to terms with what he has done.”