Armed raider trapped in hatch at Cumbrian petrol station
Last updated at 12:18, Wednesday, 15 February 2012
A hooded robber who was thwarted during a garage raid by a brave worker and a have-a-go hero has been jailed for six years.
Grant Miller, 29, had launched himself through a serving hatch at a Workington petrol station armed with a hammer in a bid to get cash from the till.
But a staff member grabbed him “in a furious struggle” – while a customer on the forecourt pulled at Miller’s legs, which were sticking out of the hatch.
Miller, of Patten Garth, Hayton, Aspatria, then fled the scene of the botched raid at Middlemoor Service Station.
But the hammer, which was wrestled out of his hand by worker Nicholas Falk, turned out to have his DNA on it and he was charged.
Miller, a man with an “appalling criminal record”, pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday.
The court was shown CCTV footage of the offence, during which Miller wore a hood pulled up around his head. Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, said the robbery happened at 12.20am on August 22 last year.
The door was locked at the garage and customers were served through a hatch.
A car pulled in with three people inside, a woman got out and asked for tobacco and a drink.
Mr Falk had to go to the other end of the shop – and Miller then appeared and dived into the hatch, getting his top half inside.
“He opened the till, grabbing money from inside it, “Mr Rogerson told the court.
Mr Falk courageously grabbed Miller and managed to get the hammer off him.
A customer, Keith Miller, who had pulled up to fill up, saw what was happening and tried to pull the robber away from the hatch.
Miller then ran off towards Workington.
Mr Rogerson added: “He got away with nothing, having dropped the notes he seized from the till during the struggle.”
Miller denied everything to police, even when the DNA evidence was put to him.
In mitigation, the court heard the robber was hooked on temazepam at the time and the raid was done to fund his addiction.
It was said in his defence that the robbery was opportunistic and nobody was injured.
Judge Paul Batty QC, passing sentence, said Miller had appeared before the courts 23 time previously.
“While on bail in respect of this offence you committed a further offence of burglary and also and incident of violence in a police station,” he added.
“You would have been successful in stealing a considerable amount of cash but for the bravery of the man inside and a member of the public.”
Judge Batty said Mr Falk and Mr Miller should both receive an award for their actions.
First published at 11:29, Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk