Drug ad­dict jailed for at­tempted hold-up

Halifax Courier - - Businesses Bid To Shape The Future Of Town - By court reporter

A drug ad­dict who armed him­self with a sy­ringe be­fore try­ing to rob a coffee shop in Hal­i­fax has been jailed for 30 months. The at­tempted hold-up at the Caffe Nero premises in Southgate came just four days af­ter El­land man Michael Far­rer had been let out of prison.

Last year Far­rer had been jailed for threat­en­ing a Tesco em­ployee with a sy­ringe dur­ing a shoplift­ing in­ci­dent.

Brad­ford Crown Court heard how the 28-year-old, of Dean Street, car­ried out the early morn­ing at­tack in the hope of be­ing ar­rested and taken back into cus­tody.

Pros­e­cu­tor Abi­gail Lang­ford de­scribed how Caffe Nero worker Joanna Cooper had been work­ing at the premises when Far­rer came in at about 6.30am.

Ini­tially Far­rer asked about a phone charger, but af­ter leav­ing the shop he came back in with the sy­ringe in his hand.

The com­plainant feared that she would be stabbed with the sy­ringe when Far­rer de­manded money from the till even though there was not yet any cash in it.

Miss Lang­ford said Far­rer told the com­plainant in a quiet voice:”I will stab you with this if you don’t give me the money from your tills.”

Af­ter be­ing told there was no money to give him Far­rer left the premises and as he walked out he said:”You know I’m only jok­ing.”

The at­tempted rob­bery last Oc­to­ber was cap­tured on CCTV and Far­rer ad­mit­ted the of­fence at a pre­vi­ous court hear­ing.

Far­rer’s bar­ris­ter Ian Howard con­ceded that his client had “an un­en­vi­able record” of of­fences, but he pointed out that the de­fen­dant’s guilty pleas to the charges of at­tempted rob­bery and pos­sess­ing an ar­ti­cle with a blade or point had spared the com­plainant hav­ing to give ev­i­dence in court.

“He had bought the hy­po­der­mic sy­ringe with the in­ten­tion of bring­ing about a state of affairs whereby he would be ar­rested and re­manded into cus­tody,” said Mr Howard.

He said if Far­rer had got cash from the shop he would have in­jected drugs be­fore hand­ing him­self in to the po­lice

Judge David Hat­ton QC said Far­rer had threat­ened a woman who was go­ing about her em­ploy­ment and she had feared that she would be stabbed.

“The of­fence is ag­gra­vated by the fact that you had last year com­mit­ted a very sim­i­lar of­fence, threat­en­ing some­body with a sy­ringe in your quest for money, and it is also ag­gra­vated by the fact that you had only been re­leased from prison four days pre­vi­ously,” the judge told Far­rer.

The judge said he had not choice but to im­pose a jail sen­tence of 30 months af­ter giv­ing Far­rer a 25 per cent dis­count for his guilty pleas.

Jailed: Michael Far­rer IN­SET Southgate, Hal­i­fax

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