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Monday, 21 September 2020

Jail for ‘masked man’ who held machete against Nottinghamshire shopkeeper’s throat

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A masked man who threatened two shopkeepers with a machete, holding it against one of their throats, has been jailed.

Officers located the offender metres away from a crime scene and immediately admitted his crimes.

Connor Lee, 19, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery, attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article at Nottingham Crown Court and has been jailed for three years and four months.

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Connor Lee
Connor Lee

The charges relate to two separate incidents in Kirkby-in-Ashfield where a masked Lee entered a convenience store and a wine shop.

The first happened on 21 July 2020 in Laurel Grove, where the victim was working on the shop floor when Lee entered.

The shopkeeper hadn’t realised anyone was inside, until Lee shouted.  The offender approached the victim from behind and put a knife to the victim’s neck and asked him to open the till.

The suspect was then marched to the till, with the knife still next to the victim’s neck. The victim said ‘If you want to open the till do it yourself’.

The victim’s wife was told not to move, but she managed to escape the situation and got through to her son to tell him to call the police.

Lee then ran out, with the victim’s wife giving chase, but she couldn’t catch him.

The second incident happened on 2 August in Victoria Road.

Lee walked into the wine store with the same weapon and a sports bag. He told the store clerk, ‘Give me everything that you have, put it in the bag’, before saying ‘Give me alcohol’.

The victim told him he couldn’t give him any, before Lee demanded he wanted two bottles of vodka. The shopkeeper calmly replied, ‘I can only give you one, not two’.

Lee said he would be happy with just the one, before leaving.

The 19-year-old was arrested shortly after the second incident after officers spotted a man nearby to the crime scene matching the description of the offender.

The suspect produced a machete from his trouser leg and admitted the offences to the arresting officers.

Detective Constable Ben Grainger led the investigation. He said: “This must have been a terrifying experience for the victims involved. Thankfully none of them suffered any injuries, although they are still shaken from the incidents.

“Officers used local CCTV footage and the descriptions to locate Lee, who wasn’t too far away from the crime scene.

“He did try to ride off on his bike, but an officer blocked his path.

“He admitted his part in the incidents. He was full and frank to all the offences throughout the interview and confirmed he was the offender in all the CCTV shown to him in the interview.

“We hope that today’s sentence gives the victim’s further closure after this horrendous ordeal.

“I’d also like to thank officers for their hard work during the investigation.”

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