Shop worker attacks lead to jail time | Features and analysis

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A 39-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for two robberies at convenience stores in Suffolk.

Craig Johnson appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday February 4, where he was sentenced to six years and three months’ imprisonment, plus an extended license term of three years and nine months.

Johnson previously pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and one count of attempted robbery.

The first offense took place on Sunday, March 29, 2020, at McColl’s in Church Street, Eye, where Johnson entered the shop with a knife.

He grabbed a female staff member by the neck and dragged her into the store holding the knife to her neck, while shouting, “give me the money, open the tills, give me the money now “.

Johnson continued to drag the victim by the neck and hair while leaning on the counter of the store and trying to open the tills, but to no avail. He then attempted to drag the victim out of the store through the front door, but then dragged her back inside and again attempted to open the till and threatened another member of staff with the knife that was behind the counter.

Johnson then left the store still brandishing the knife but had dropped the carrier bag on the floor. No money or other items were stolen, but the victim was extremely shaken and suffered cuts and bruises during the incident.

The second incident happened later that evening at around 8.45pm at Londis in Sizewell Road, Leiston. Johnson again entered the premises with a knife and asked a member of staff to open the till.

Johnson then went into the back office with the victim and pushed him against the wall and after a short scuffle Johnson asked where the safe was. The victim then managed to flee, saying he would go get the key.

Johnson then went back behind the counter and took a number of tobacco packets to add to the money he had already stolen, then he left the store.

Johnson was first arrested by officers investigating the incidents the next day (March 30) and later released on bail in connection with them, but he was wanted on a recall to jail and so remained out of custody. the street at that time. He received a subpoena charging him with the offenses in November that year, appearing before magistrates on December 18, 2020.

Detective Inspector Matt Adams said: ‘Both of these crimes would have been horrific experiences for store staff to endure. During the attempted robbery at Eye, Craig Johnson dragged a young saleswoman into the store by her hair while holding a knife to her neck, he literally threw her like a rag doll while demanding money from the crates.

“This extreme use of violence was completely unnecessary. I found the CCTV of the incident quite disturbing and it’s hard to imagine the fear this young woman felt. Although she suffered several cuts and bruises, I am grateful that she escaped without serious injury.

“Johnson has an appalling history of violent crime – he has previous convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery, serving significant prison sentences in the process. When he committed these most recent offenses, he was still on parole as he was serving a six-year extended license from a previous sentence.

“I am extremely happy to see Craig Johnson returned to prison for a considerable period of time and hope this brings some solace and solace to his victims.”

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