Shop robber from Castleford used machete and fake gun in Pontefract and Ferrybridge store raids

AN ARMED robber  from Castleford who threatened  staff at  stores in Ferrybridge and Pontefract with a machete and an imitation gun has been jailed for six years.

Richard Williams

Leeds Crown Court heard Richard Williams, aged 27, travelled to the shops on a motorbike and wore a helmet and goggles during the raids.

He walked into the Vale Superstore in Vale Crescent, Ferrybridge on the afternoon of June 27 2017 and threatened a female shop worker with a machete before fleeing with cash.

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The court heard the woman was terrified and was to afraid to continue working in the shop.

A police photograph of the machete used in the Ferrybridge shop robbery

Prosecutor, Camille Morland said just after 2pm on Thursday July 20, Williams walked into Nevison News and Booze in Pontefract with what Kieran Stevens, who was working at the shop, described as a "cheap fake gun."

Mr Stevens refused to hand over money and Williams fled empty handed.

Williams, of Hillcrest Drive, Townville, Castleford, was convicted by a jury after a trial of robbery, attempted robbery, possessing an offensive weapon and possessing an imitation firearm.

Mitigating, Matthew Harding, said: "This was not the most sophisticated of offending."

A police photograph of the machete used in the Ferrybridge shop robbery

Jailing Williams for six years, judge Tom Bayliss QC said the the woman working at Vale Superstore in Ferrybridge was left terrified by her ordeal.

Judge Bayliss added: "She is entitled to feel safe and she is entitled not to be terrified out of her wits by someone like you who has taken it into your head to make some easy money.

"She said 'the whole thing has left me really shaken. I couldn't stop crying. When he showed me the knife I felt calm but afterwards I was in complete shock. I'm not going to work in the shop anymore, I'm to scared.'

"People shouldn't have to live their lives like that and the courts must pass significant sentences to deter people like you who behave in this way."