Cardboard shotgun robber jailed: Thug raided Manchester newsagents with ‘weapon’ in carrier bag

By Glen Keogh

A man who fooled staff into believing a roll of cardboard in a carrier bag was a gun to rob two Northern Moor newsagents was today jailed for ten years.

Nicholas Alphonso Hinds, 36, of Pepler Avenue, Northern Moor, placed items in a carrier bag to simulate the appearance of a gun and terrify staff into handing over cash.

In his first meticulously planned attack of fakery, Hinds went into the Circle News store on Sale Road at about 9.30am on October 26 last year where he held up a white carrier bag with a thin object inside – which the victim thought was a gun.

He escaped after the victim handed over cash, but the bag was discovered later with the items inside used to create the fake gun.

Police Constable Chris Sutcliffe said Hinds is a determined and dangerous criminal.

“The streets are a far safer place now this man is behind bars,” he said.

“He had obviously pre-planned the two robberies and had gone to some lengths to simulate the appearance of a gun.

“This was clearly designed to cause as much fear as possible among his victims who genuinely believed they were being threatened at gunpoint.”

He struck again with his ‘weapon’ in the morning of December 2 last year at the Nisa store on Sale Road.

This time, the cashier feared that Hinds’ carrier bag contained a shotgun so handed over the money he was demanding before activating the emergency alarm.

The bag was discovered later containing a roll of cardboard – clearly designed to look like a gun.

Today he was convicted of two counts of robbery after a trial at Manchester Crown Court and jailed for ten years.

PC Sutcliffe added: “He could not escape justice and today is starting the first day of a long prison stretch.

“His arrest was testament to the quick response of the neighbour and response officers who attended after the Nisa robbery and I also hope it gives his victims some sense of justice at seeing him sent down for such a long time.”

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