A prolific offender who threatened shop assistants with an axe in targeted attacks on Melton businesses has been jailed for eight years.
Neil Gordon, of New Street in Melton, was sentenced today (17 November) after pleading guilty at Leicester Crown Court in August, to one count of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, two counts of possession of a knife blade or sharp pointed article in a public place and one count of theft from a shop.
At around 5pm on Wednesday 1 March, Gordon entered the One Stop Store in Grange Drive, and brandished an axe at a cashier before knocking her to the floor and fleeing empty-handed.
Minutes later the 41-year-old walked into Premier Stores in nearby Craven Street, where he threatened a member of staff with the axe as he demanded money from the till.
Gordon struck the shop owner over the head with the axe causing an injury which required treatment at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre. He fled from the scene with around £300 in cash.
Three days later on 4 March, he was arrested after police were called to a report of a theft from Mercury News on Sherrard Street. Gordon had entered the shop asking to buy a pouch of tobacco, but when the assistant put the tobacco on the counter he grabbed it and fled from the store.
Brave members of the public chased Gordon and held onto him until officers arrived at the scene and arrested him on suspicion of theft and aggravated bodily harm.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Nick Lant, from the force’s Complex Investigation Team, said: “An observant local PCSO tasked to look at the CCTV footage of the theft noticed a similarity between Gordon’s general appearance and that of the suspects in the Craven Street and Grange Drive offences.
“She thought his appearance looked similar in all three incidents and she took her observations to detectives who carried out further enquiries resulting in Gordon also being arrested for the incidents at both stores.
“Gordon was a prolific and dangerous offender and presented a threat to the town so today’s sentencing is great news for the local community.
“The impact these incidents had on the people of Melton was immense and I hope they will feel reassured that justice has been done.
“It should also act as a warning to anyone intent on committing crime in Melton that police will carry out a full and thorough investigation and bring those responsible to justice.”
A number of other offences were ordered to lie on file.
Source:: Leicestershire Police News