Would-be robber in jail for Leeds shop attack

Wayne Taylor-Wilson.

Wayne Taylor-Wilson.

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A shopkeeper armed herself with a bottle of Tia Maria as she bravely resisted a knife-wielding would-be robber.

Rina Patel was serving behind the counter of Best One Store in Belle Isle Road, Leeds when Wayne Taylor-Wilson ran towards her with his face covered and brandishing a knife.

She told police later it looked like a kitchen knife with a four inch blade.

Leeds Crown Court heard in a local accent he told her: “Give me the money from the till or I’ll hit you.”

Louise Pryke prosecuting said she formed the impression that the man was drunk because he was slurring his words.

She pressed the alarm button and grabbed hold of a bottle of Tia Maria to defend herself with as the raider leaned over the counter and tried to lift the till up. He could not do so because the till was bolted down.

As she told Taylor-Wilson the police were on their way, her partner behind her in the shop grabbed a stool in defence.

When the would-be robber heard a siren nearby he ran out of the shop and away up Belle Isle Road.

Later he rang police saying he had threatened someone with a knife. He was found drunk at his home and the mobile phone he had used for that call was recovered.

When he had sobered up he denied any knowledge of the offence or making the call.

Simon Alexander representing Taylor-Wilson said he had been “hitting the bottle” since his relationship had broken down.

That day he had been drinking since 8.30am.

The offence was at 7.30pm and he described himself as “hammered” with little recollection of what he had done.

Taylor-Wilson, 28 of Winrose Avenue, Leeds admitted the attempted robbery on June 4 and was jailed for three years.

Sentencing Taylor-Wilson, Judge Rodney Jameson QC said the shopkeeper had shown “a considerable degree of pluck arming herself with a bottle which fortunately she did not have to use”.

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