Jail for Burnley shop raider

This Is Lancashire: Antony Groves Antony Groves

A MASKED raider who targeted two shops in a desperate plan to get cash for his crack cocaine addiction and pay off a debt to dealers has been jailed for three years.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Antony Groves, 37, pulled out a knife in a shop and threatened to use it if necessary, forcing the victim to hand over £10 — all that was in the till.

The defendant, of Crabtree Avenue, Waterfoot, had earlier admitted robbery and attempted robbery, on July 11.

The court heard how Groves first went into The Pet Shop in Waterfoot demanding money, saying he had a knife.

He didn't produce the weapon and left empty-handed when owner Elizabeth Ingham said she had no cash in the shop. He then went into The Sandwich Bar, in Waterfoot, and produced a knife. He told Carole Roberts and her daughter he didn't want to hurt anyone, demanded money and threatened to use the blade if necessary. Mrs Roberts handed over £10.

Tim Brennand, for Groves, said he offered his unreserved apologies to the victims.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman said: “Shopkeepers are vulnerable, particularly women on their own in shops.”

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