Robber’s risky gamble ends up in prison term

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A HAPLESS robber threatened staff at a bookies before telling them his name and address as he made off with cash.

In a second raid on the same betting shop, Carl Hibbert tried to stop a woman from calling police – only for his mask to fall off.

Hibbert, 27, was jailed for four and a half years yesterday after pleading guilty to the robberies at William Hills on Fishergate, near Pontefract.

Leeds Crown Court heard Hibbert was regular at the betting shop before committing the offences in April and May this year.

Sarah Nelson, prosecuting, said Hibbert went into the shop on April 17 armed with a bottle and threatened to “knock hell” out of the two members of staff on duty unless they gave him money from the till.

They handed over cash but as he left he told them his name and address. CCTV footage of the incident was inspected and another member of staff recognised him.

Police went to his home and arrested him the next day but he claimed not to be able to remember the incident as he had been drinking heavily.

He was released on police bail but targeted the premises again on May 8.

Ms Nelson said Hibbert was wearing a mask when he went up to staff and demanded cash.

The cashier refused to give him any money and dialled police from her mobile phone.

Hibbert then jumped over the counter and took the phone from her.

He took cash from the till but as he jumped back over the counter his mask slipped and he was recognised.

At 2.30am the next day Hibbert contacted the police himself, claiming to have been beaten up and that he knew who had carried out the two robberies.

Hibbert, of Marsh Croft, Knottingley, pleaded guilty to two offences of robbery. The court heard he has a previous conviction for attempted robbery

Louise Reevell, mitigating, said Hibbert had a drink and drug problem and had committed the offences after losing his job and his relationship with his partner broke down.

Describing the first robbery, Judge Simon Hickey said: “It wasn’t sophisticated as you left your name and address.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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