Yorkshire youth’s bungled store robbery

Craig Jackson.
Craig Jackson.
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TWO teenagers have been detained for their bungled attempts to carry out an armed robbery at a supermarket.

Pater Wass, 17, and Craig Jackson, 19, fled from the Co-op store after losing their nerve and crossed a river in their bid to escape.

The drunk pair immediately attracted the attention of shoppers and staff when they went to the busy store in Knaresborough dressed in hoodies on a hot summer’s day.

Staff refused to hand over cash even when confronted with what appeared to be a sawn-off shotgun.

Witnesses, including an off-duty police officer, chased them through the grounds of a cemetery and a caravan park before they were forced to cross the river to escape.

Armed police and a helicopter were called to scene and Jackson was found hiding in undergrowth.

Wass was arrested five days later, on May 30, in a dawn swoop at his home in Harrogate.

Jackson, of Church Hill, Spofforth, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a firearm with intent. Wass denied the offences but was found guilty after a trial.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Wass, who was just 16 at the time of the offence, has no previous convictions and Jackson, who was 18, has just one for criminal damage.

Alistair Campbell, for Jackson, described the offence as an “amateur attempt” to commit robbery.

He said: “They had been dressed completely out of character to everyone else and had been noticed.”

Mr Campbell said Wass held the gun, which was never recovered, and his client had acted under Wass’s influence.

Both had been to an all night party and had continued drinking throughout the day.

Richard Reed, for Wass, said he still denied the offences. The barrister added: “The whole incident appeared quite a sham.”

Wass was given five years detention and Jackson was sent to a young offenders’ institution for three years and four months.

Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, told them: “To the surprise of each of you, people in that shop had firmer resolve than you had perhaps anticipated.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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