Lincolnshire

Men jailed for 30 years after armed Co-op robbery

Three men who were involved in a conspiracy to rob a Lincolnshire Co-op and a Peterborough branch of Starbucks were jailed for a total of 30 years after a hearing on Friday.

As previously reported, the men entered the store on Co-op store Ermine Street in Ancaster just after 10.30pm on Wednesday, May 30 and demanded money from a member of staff in the supermarket.

Three men were later arrested the following month, in June, in the connection with the incident.

Lincoln Crown Court heard how James Taylor, Jack Hess and Josh McLellan scouted out both locations and travelled to Newark to obtain a car.

A knife was carried in both robberies which were committed on consecutive nights at a Starbucks near Oundle Road in Peterborough and the Ancaster Co-op in Lincolnshire.

The court heard three men carrying a hammer, a knife and a pole entered the Starbucks in Peterborough on May 29 after first going to a nearby Co-op in Oundle Road which had already closed.

Gareth Weetman, prosecuting, said two women were working in the branch and money was demanded from both the till and safe.

Mr Weetman told the court a knife was held very close to one of the women in the storage room and a total of £530 was taken.

In a victim impact statement the woman described how she still suffered panic attacks and had to leave a job she loved.

“I feel like I’m trapped in a constant nightmare,” she said.

The following night McLellan and Taylor entered the Ancaster Co-op carrying a knife and a hammer.

Mr Weetman said Hess was not present but later sent a text which read “I said wait for that one as well,” adding, “good hit”.

Around £1,750 in cash and goods were taken after two female workers were again told to open the tills and safe.

One of the women was so terrified that she tried to leave the store but she was beckoned back.

The two men fled after warning the women they would be stabbed if they contacted the police.

In a victim impact statement one of the Ancaster workers described it as the “most terrifying” thing that had happened in her life.

The court heard McLellan’s then girlfriend, Rhoda Rogan, 18, provided a false statement in which she claimed they were home together on the two nights.

Another woman, Lauren Browning, 23, provided a statement in which she claimed she spent much of the night of May 29 with her partner Hess.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst said the amount of money taken was entirely disproportionate with the harm caused.

Taylor, 29, of Leatherland Court, Kettering; and McLellan, 23, of Tait Close, Eastfield, Peterborough, admitted conspiracy to rob and were both jailed for nine years.

Hess, 26, of Paston Risings, Peterborough, was found guilty of conspiracy to rob and also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He was jailed for 12 and half years.

Browning, 23, of The Flats, Paston Risings, Peterborough, and Rogan, 18, of Tait Close, Eastfield, Peterborough, both admitted a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Browning was sentenced to six months imprisonment and Rogan was sentenced to six months in a young offenders institution.