Grantham man given four years in custody for armed robbery at Co-op store

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A masked robber who held up a shop while brandishing a knife was today sent to a young offenders’ institution for four years.

Alexander Bailey concealed his face with a balaclava when he walked into the Co-Op store on Princess Drive, Grantham, and demanded cash.

Caroline Bradley, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court “The defendant approached her and demanded money. She thought it was a Bonfire Night prank and refused to hand over anything.

“The defendant then produced a large knife and repeated the demand. She again refused and shouted to a colleague.”

A colleague went to assist and Bailey was told he could take whatever he wanted. He then made off with a pouch of tobacco and two bottles of wine.

Miss Bradley said the two members of staff were left in a state of shock. They called police and officers carried out a search of the area and found one of the bottles of wine had been smashed.

Bailey’s fingerprints were found on a carrier bag nearby and a coat which had been abandoned had his DNA on it.

Bailey was later arrested but he denied being involved in the robbery and said he was homeless at the time and in the habit of picking up items he found as he walked around the town.

Bailey, 20, of Harlaxton Road, Grantham, pleaded guilty to carrying out the robbery on the evening of November 5, 2013.

Judge Michael Heath told him: “This was clearly planned because you had disguised yourself with a balaclava and you had armed yourself with a large kitchen knife. It must have been a frightening experience for those two ladies working in that shop.

“The court must do all it can to protect people working in shops by imposing sentences which punish and deter.”

Christopher Milligan, defending, said Bailey had severe drink and drugs problems at the time he carried out the robbery and had no real recollection of what happened.