Danger to the public robber is sent down

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

A ROBBER who attacked a shop assistant before fleeing with £2,800 in cash has been locked up indefinitely for the protection of the public.

Michael Wright, 37, entered West End News in High Street, Bentley, and ordered worker Carol Blackburn to hand over money from the till.

Sheffield Crown Court heard he punched her in the face three times before stealing a cash box from beneath the counter.

He was found guilty of robbery by a jury who rejected his claim he had been assaulted on the night of the incident, in October 2011.

Branding him a danger to the public, the judge gave him an indeterminate sentence and ordered him to serve a minimum of five years behind bars.

Susan Evans, prosecuting, said Ms Blackburn was alone in the shop when Wright came in.

She said he approached the counter and demanded Mrs Blackburn opened the till. She was frightened and shocked but refused to do as he asked.

Ms Evans said Wright turned to leave, but changed his mind and returned, repeating his order.

“He then punched her a number of times to the face and pushed past her, so she fell to the floor,” she added.

Wright tried but failed to open the till himself before spotting the cash tin which he stole, emptied and discarded in a bin outside.

Afterwards he went into the nearby Drum pub - where he told the landlady he had been assaulted.

She told the jury one of his fingers was bleeding.

Wright, of Hall Gate, Doncaster, admitted in police interview that he had visited The Drum and said he had gone to the area to buy drugs.

“He said he had been assaulted by someone who thought the defendant owed him some money,” Ms Evans said.

Ms Blackburn picked Wright out in an identity procedure on October 25.

She said he tried to cover his face with a hooded top during the robbery, but she recognised him as soon as she saw him.