Machete-wielding Norwich robbers locked up

A judge said that small shopkeepers had to be protected after he locked up two masked robbers armed with a machete who held up a Norwich newsagents shop before escaping with the till containing �725.

Dail Sear-Trevor, 20, and Martyn Swarbrick, 19, robbed Stuart's newsagents on Hall Road, in Lakenham - the second time the newsagents shop had been targeted in four months.

Sear-Trevor and Swarbrick entered the store and when the terrified shopworker saw the machete he locked himself in a storeroom and a customer was forced to lie on the ground while the two men grabbed the till and fled.

Kevin Eastwick, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said that the two men were later arrested after a member of the public had reported overhearing the two men talking about how they were going to smash open the till.

Mr Eastwick said that each defendant was found with �60 cash and Sear-Trevor also told police where he had dumped the till and helped recover another �85 and the machete.

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Sear-Trevor, of Hall Road, Lakenham, and Swarbrick, of Coach and Horses Row, near Chapelfield, Norwich, admitted robbing Stuart's newsagents on June 5.

Sear-Trevor was given 39 months in a young offender institution and Sarwbrick, 33 months in a young offenders institution.

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Sentencing them, Judge Philip Curl told them: 'It was a robbery of a small corner shop and those who run this sort of shop generally work all hours. They are usually on their own and are very vulnerable to robberies of this sort. It is no excuse that you were both short of money.'

Joanna Eley for Swarbrick, who has 11 GCSEs, said the offence was out of character: 'This robbery was committed out of desperation. He was under a huge amount of financial pressure. He had not been able to pay his rent and had not eaten for three days.'

She said he was full of remorse: 'He had ambitions for the future but he will never achieve those ambitions now.'

Laura Kenyon, for Sear-Trevor, said: 'He was �1000 in debt to his landlord.' She added: 'It's been a wake-up call for him.'

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