Prolific armed robbers jailed

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Two robbers who carried out an armed crime spree have been jailed.

Lee Watson and Dominic Wright used knives, a crow bar and a hammer to raid Morrisons petrol kiosk in Eastwood, a second petrol kiosk in Loscoe and three stores, including one in Langley Mill, last summer.

Watson was handed eight years in prison and Wright seven years after they were both found guilty of all five robberies at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday, January 24.

Watson, found guilty of stealing a car used in one of the robberies, was given an extra two months for contempt of court after he spat in the dock.

The pair’s sustained campaign of offences ended when they were caught after abandoning a stolen car on the city’s tram line.

The officer in charge of the case, detective sergeant Steve Wragg said: “This has been a very complex investigation involving five robberies across two force areas – Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

“Watson and Wright used an array of tools, from a hammer to a knife, to carry out these offences and intimidate shopkeepers that were simply going about their daily work.

“Ultimately these weapons could have caused life threatening injuries if they had chosen to use them in that way.

“The last thing shop workers should expect in their jobs, serving members of the public, is the fear of violence or to be involved in a frightening robbery. Some of the staff have as yet been unable to return to work because of the trauma they faced. They absolutely did not deserve to be put in this danger.”

After targeting Alldays at Langley Mill on Tuesday 26 June 2012, Watson and Wright began a series of robberies in Nottinghamshire.

On Wednesday 27 June, at 10pm, the pair robbed the One Stop Shop, in Cinderhill, armed with a knife and a crow bar. They used the weapon to remove two tills from the shop before running off.

On Saturday 30 June, again at 10pm, they robbed Morrisons petrol station, Eastwood, at knifepoint. Watson jumped on to the counter of the shop and threatened workers. They made off with money from the safe.

They struck in Derbyshire again on Saturday 9 July at Texaco Petrol Station in Heanor.

Finally on Thursday 12 July at 9pm, the robbers raided Booze Busters in Hucknall, armed with a hammer.

The following day, Friday 13 July, at 8am, Watson took a Toyota Avensis from an address in Wood Street, Eastwood.

After a pursuit by police, the pair drove along tram lines and abandoned the car on tracks at Basford. They were arrested after a short chase on foot.

As part of the investigation police spent considerable time matching items of clothing worn during the robberies to those owned by Wright and Watson.

DS Wragg said: “The pair wore masks and gloves for these offences so there were no fingerprints or DNA left at the scene. We used a great deal of forensic work – notably analysing clothing and footwear as well extensive phone analysis to place them at the crime scenes. It was a long process and we had in excess of 30 items for forensic testing but ultimately that work has paid off.”

The trial of Watson, 26, of no fixed address, and Wright, 23, of Vale Crescent South, Radford, lasted eight days.