Rob­ber fails in bid to re­duce 16-year term

Man, 54, in gang armed with pitch­fork, ma­chete

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by court reporter buck­snews@trin­i­tysouth.co.uk

A ROB­BER jailed for a heist in which a se­cu­rity guard was terrorised with a pitch­fork has had an ap­peal to re­duce his sen­tence thrown out by a judge.

Stephen Phillips, 54, of Ox­ford Road, Ger­rards Cross, was jailed for 16-and-a-half years for his part in a se­ries of raids on cash-intransit staff across west Lon­don.

The gang struck in 2010, us­ing an iron bar, ma­chete, a ba­ton and a pitch­fork.

They tar­geted The Pavil­ions Shop­ping Cen­tre, in High Street, Uxbridge; Tesco, in Glen­coe Road, Hayes; Marks & Spencer, in Sun­bury Cross; and Waitrose in Ruis­lip.

Phillips was joined by ac­com­plices Ge­orge French, 61, of Rowan Road, West Dray­ton and An­thony Durham, also 61, of Princes Av­enue, Petts Wood.

French was not in­volved in the Waitrose raid and suc­cess­fully had his sen­tence cut from 15 to 13-and-a-half years on ap­peal.

Durham was jailed for 17 years and also had an ap­peal against his sen­tence re­jected.

Lord Jus­tice Treacy, sit­ting with Mrs Jus­tice Lang and Judge John Bevan QC at Lon­don’s Ap­peal Court, said the trio claimed they had been ‘fit­ted up’ by the po­lice, and their le­gal team ar­gued the trial judge failed to pin­point key flaws in the prose­cu­tion case.

The sen­tences were un­doubt­edly se­vere but, af­ter con­sid­er­ing the ar­gu­ments put to us, we are not per­suaded there is an ar­guable case that

the sen­tences were ex­ces­sive”

But he said the trial judge had pre­sented the case fairly and com­pre­hen­sively, adding: “We are not per­suaded that any greater de­tail or em­pha­sis from the judge was re­quired.

“We are not per­suaded there is an ar­guable case fit to be con­sid­ered by the full Ap­peal Court.”

The judge dis­missed the sen­tence ap­peals from Phillips and Durham, say­ing: “The sen­tences were un­doubt­edly se­vere but, af­ter con­sid­er­ing the ar­gu­ments put to us, we are not per­suaded there is an ar­guable case that the sen­tences were ex­ces­sive.”

Both Phillips and Durham have pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions dat­ing back to 1995, con­cern­ing a raid on one of the same shops tar­geted in this case.

The ap­peal judge added that French was more than a mere get­away driver, hav­ing been in­volved in re­con­noitring and ‘procur­ing ve­hi­cles’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.