Knife-wielding robber claimed hunger fuelled shop crime
8:02am Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
A BARRY father claimed he attempted to rob a convenience store because he hadn’t “eaten for two days,” Cardiff Crown Court has heard.
Keiron Thomas Fitzpatrick, of Holton Road, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after earlier pleading guilty to attempted robbery and possessing an offensive weapon at the Premier Holton Road Store, around 8am on Saturday, August 17 this year.
Judge Eleri Rees said dad-of-two Fitzpatrick, who was on licence, at the time of the offence had a history of violent offences and pre-planned the robbery attempt by buying a knife and glove, to disguise a tattoo on his hand, in Cardiff beforehand.
The court heard how 25-year-old Fitzpatrick’s actions had left shop manager Kay Gill traumatised and afraid to work alone in the shop.
Prosecuting, James Howells told the court that Fitzpatrick had confronted Mrs Gill when she was putting magazines inside newspapers and ordered her to close the door.
Behind the counter, he held the knife at stomach level and when she removed keys, she took the opportunity to press the panic alarm.
He demanded her mobile phone, but fled the premises empty handed using foul language and threatening to kill her.
The whole incident, captured on in-store CCTV, lasted between one and one-and-a-half minutes.
Mr Howells said: “The reason he committed the offence was because he had not eaten for two days.”
Defending, Nicholas Jones said his client, who was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, had become “desperate.”
Mr Jones said: “He didn’t have any money. He borrowed money from friends, but the £45 had already gone. The reason was therefore to try and raise some money to get food.”
Jailing Fitzpatrick for three-and-a-half years at the hearing on Thursday, October 10, and ordering him to serve 12 months, to run concurrently, and pay a victim surcharge, Judge Rees said: “This is a shocking incident and has shaken her (Mrs Gill’s) confidence completely.”
Giving him credit for an early guilty plea, acknowledging no injury had resulted and no property stolen, she noted he was on licence at the time and had a history of offences.
She added: “Many of them are for violence and I particularly note that you like to carry a knife.”
Speaking after the sentencing, Kay said she was glad he had been sent to prison and hoped it would make people think twice before considering similar action.
She said: “There is justice and I would like to thank the police for making the effort to catch the person and put him behind bars.
“I’d also like to thank all the customers for their support they have given me throughout.
“They are very loyal.”