JAILED: Desperate debt-ridden robber who used imitation shotgun to threaten Asda staff in Manchester

By Danielle Wainwright

A robber who used an imitation shotgun to threaten staff at an Asda petrol station and a William Hill betting shop for cash was jailed today at Minshull Street Crown Court  for five years.

David Jones, 40, of Rushcroft Road, Shaw, was charged with one count of robbery, one count of attempted robbery and two counts of possession of an imitation shotgun after he targeted two stores in May.

He first threatened staff at the petrol station on Milne Road, Chadderton, as he drove up to the kiosk in a grey Vauxhall Astra, pointed a shotgun at the cashier and drove off with cash.

The following day he walked into a bookmakers at around 8.25pm carrying what was believed to have been the gun in a black plastic bin liner demanding cash, but staff ran into the back after seeing him wearing a balaclava and he left empty handed.

Detective Constable Dave Meeney, from the Serious Organised Crime Group, said: “Following a police investigation, Jones led us to a mill off Osborne Street that he had access to. Inside, we found the car, a high visibility jacket that he wore during the first crime, his balaclava and the imitation gun.

“Although the gun was not real, the victims were not to know this and the CCTV gives an example of the terror he caused. They were naturally scared when they were faced with a man wearing a balaclava and holding a weapon. In the second incident at William Hill, the staff members were able to lock themselves in the back office and nothing was taken.

“From what officers uncovered, Jones was in a lot of debt and thought he would target businesses to help pay for it. Now he is paying for what he has done and is behind bars.”

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