Friday, February 20, 2015

Man jailed after trying to rob hotel while armed with a twig

A would-be robber brandishing a twig tried to hold up a hotel before being fought off and fleeing empty-handed on his bicycle. Paul Lawman vaulted the counter of the Premier Inn at Heald Green, Stockport, Greater Manchester, during the attempted heist. Brandishing a plastic bag with a twig inside which he had shaped to look like a gun, Lawman threw a bag at the 23-year-old receptionist and shouted ‘give me the money’.

The woman called for help from her manager, who grappled with Lawman even though he believed the thug was armed with a gun. During the struggle the bag containing the twig ripped and revealed Lawman’s ‘weapon’. He fled the scene on his bicycle, chased by the 25-year-old manager. The hapless crook, of Benchill, was caught after leaving behind the stick and the bag with his fingerprints on it.

He tested positive for the drug ecstasy, and was jailed for four years after admitting attempted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm. The court heard Lawman has convictions for 96 previous offences. Janet Ironfield, defending, said Lawman had not committed a robbery since 1994. “It appears he was feeling frustrated, he was out on the streets, and the idea appears to have occurred to him when he walked past the Premier Inn.

“This is not an offence for which there’s any evidence that the defendant planned in advance a means of attack on the Premier Inn, other than at the spur of the moment, when what he did was equip himself with useful items from the car park.” Recorder Tina Landale, sentencing, said it was ‘inconceivable’ that the ‘terrifying’ robbery bid was not planned.

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