Rob­ber’s ‘am­a­teur’ dis­guise in at­tempt to rob jew­ellery store

Southport Visiter - - Front Page - BY NEIL DOCKING neil.docking@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Vis­iter

AN “AMATEURISH” thug armed with a BB gun tried to rob a jew­ellery store while dressed in a wig and sun­glasses.

War­ren Deb­nam burst into Colling­wood Gold in South­port and de­manded cash from ter­ri­fied as­sis­tant Karen Has­sall.

He or­dered Ms Has­sall and her col­league, Karen Benin­son, to empty a safe, but they ex­plained it had a time-lock de­lay.

The 31-year-old, of no fixed ad­dress, de­cided to flee and shouted at them to open the door so he could make his es­cape.

But he was caught on CCTV and eas­ily recog­nised af­ter he sped off in a green Mazda, stolen eight days pre­vi­ously.

Kim Eger­ton, pros­e­cut­ing, told Liver­pool Crown Court the in­ci­dent hap­pened at about 9.30am on May 13 this year.

Po­lice released a CCTV im­age of Deb­nam in his dis­guise and ap­pealed for in­for­ma­tion via the Vis­iter about the in­ci­dent in Tulketh Street.

He was recog­nised by other of­fi­cers and res­i­dents and ar­rested on July 15 in the Cheshire area, when he made no com­ment.

Deb­nam was picked out in an iden­tity pa­rade, but told an of­fi­cer in his cell that he had been at a fam­ily cel­e­bra­tion.

Ms Has­sall said she had worked in jew­ellery stores for some 18 years but had never pre­vi­ously been the vic­tim of a rob­bery.

She told the court that she had de­cided to quit her job be­cause she couldn’t face re­turn­ing to the store af­ter tak­ing time off

She said that she couldn’t sleep while Deb­nam was still at large and some­times she would “jump out of her skin”.

Ms Has­sall added that she now found it hard to trust strangers and was sus­pi­cious of cus­tomers, who in­stinc­tively made her panic.

Deb­nam ad­mit­ted at­tempted rob­bery, hav­ing an im­i­ta­tion firearm with in­tent to rob and driv­ing a con­veyance taken with­out au­thor­ity.

He has 15 pre­vi­ous con- vic­tions for 23 of­fences dat­ing back to 2002, in­clud­ing dis­hon­esty and as­saults.

Charles Lan­der, de­fend­ing, said that his client wrote let­ters of apol­ogy to the the two women, who suf­fered “fear and ter­ror”.

He said that it was a rel­a­tively short in­ci­dent, but con­ceded: “One could un­der­stand for those two ladies, time stood still”.

Mr Lan­der said “amateurish” Deb­nam was quickly iden­ti­fied be­cause he of­ten wore the same clothes and sun­glasses.

He was a co­caine user whose ad­dic­tion had spi­ralled out of con­trol and “stupidly” de­cided to raid a lo­cal shop.

Mr Lan­der said Deb­nam’s girl­friend was preg­nant, adding: “There is a lot for this de­fen­dant to look for­ward to upon his re­lease.”

Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said Deb­nam bran­dished the gun and threat­ened the two ter­ri­fied women.

She said: “The fact this is an im­i­ta­tion firearm makes a dif­fer­ence to the sen­tence you will re­ceive.

“But of course the im­pact on both the women in this case is the same be­cause they did not know this was an im­i­ta­tion firearm.

“One can see from the CCTV I have watched that frankly they were ter­ri­fied by the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Judge Nicholls ac­cepted he was “gen­uinely re­morse­ful” and jalied him for three years and four months.

War­ren Deb­nam, 31, in­set, dis­guised him­self with a wig and sun­glasses to try to rob a jew­ellers shop

Colling­wood Gold in Tulketh Street, where War­ren Deb­nam used a BB gun in his failed hold-up

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