Armed robber swam across canal to escape

Delano Chevalleau
Delano Chevalleau
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AN armed robber who swam across a canal after a terrifying raid on a convenience store has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

A judge was yesterday shown dramatic CCTV footage of the attack on JS Food and Wine in Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, during which hooded intruder Delano Chevolleau confronted shopkeeper Yashpal Karda and demanded cash from the till.

The 42-year-old, whose lower face was covered, went into the store shortly before closing time on March 1 and held a large kitchen knife above his head as the terrified Mr Karda opened the till before cowering on the floor behind the counter.

Chevolleau, who had previous convictions for burglary and violence, calmly pocketed the day’s takings of nearly £400 before fleeing the store on Clifton Street pursued by Mr Karda and his father, who had been in the stock room.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Mr Karda lost sight of the robber close to the canal and when police later searched the area they found marks in a flower bed at the foot of a wall.

Prosecutor Nadim Bashir told the court that the trail went cold, but when officers crossed to the other side of the canal they found wet footprints leading to a nearby property. Inquiries revealed that Chevolleau had changed his wet clothing at the house before going to his own home in Canal Road.

When police went to his house they found stolen coins under a pillow and wet bank notes under the bed.

The court heard that Chevolleau had in fact suffered a bad injury to his ankle in jumping from the wall and he had to spend a fortnight in hospital after his arrest.

Chevolleau pleaded guilty to robbery when he appeared before the court yesterday via a video link to Armley jail.

His lawyer, Rachim Singh, said the week before the robbery Chevolleau’s long-term relationship had broken down and he had twice attempted to commit suicide.

Mr Singh said the robbery was committed so that his client could get money to buy enough heroin for an overdose. The court heard that the defendant recently had to undergo another operation on his damaged ankle.

Judge Jonathan Rose told Chevolleau: “It is right of course that you have suffered a very serious injury as a result of coming off that wall... I doubt that you will find many people that have a shred of sympathy for you.”

Chevolleau disputed claims that he had threatened to stab Mr Karda, but the judge said whether he said the words or not the victim was clearly flinching as the defendant held the knife.

“Shopkeepers, particularly those who work long hours often late into the night, will be protected by the courts when they fall victim to what I regard as a quite terrifying attack by the likes of you,” he said.

The judge ordered that the £388.25 recovered by the police should be returned to Mr Karda.