'Inept' robber brandished knife in Kidderminster bookies

A "TOTALLY inept" robber who brandished a knife in a Kidderminster bookmakers and stole £200 from a cashier has been jailed.

Roy Price, 44, was caught on CCTV strolling into the William Hill in Comberton Hill, brandishing a lock knife and demanding money from two women working on the tills.

He then handed himself in by knocking on a stranger's door and asking him to call police, saying: "I've committed a terrible crime - I've committed robbery with a knife."

He was jailed for 18 months at Worcester Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to the robbery, on December 29, and having a knife in a public place.

Judge Michael Cullum said the sentence was "unusual" for being so short but said he felt it was appropriate in the circumstances and given what he said was Price's "genuine remorse".

"You produced the knife to a member of staff and caused her and her colleague to give you about £200 from the till," he told him.

"There was the obvious threat of having a knife, which was around three to four inches long, outstretched towards them and capable of causing harm. The two individuals were, understandably, terrifed."

Prosecutor Stephen Davies told the court that Price, of Harvington Hall Lane, Harvington, said the robbery happened at around 5pm in the afternoon of December 29, when there was one other customer in the bookies.

He said it happened so quietly the woman did not even notice, as she was playing on a fruit machine. As Price left with his haul, Mr Davies added, he appeared to wave goodbye.

"He raises his hand towards the end of the CCTV footage towards the cashier," he added. "Whatever the gesture was, it certainly wasn't aggressive."

At around 8pm that evening, Price knocked on the door of a man, who lived near Kidderminster Police Station, saying he had tried to hand himself in there but it was closed and asking if he could phone them for him.

He then waited for officers to arrive and arrest him.

Charles Hobbs, defending, said the robbery was "totally out of character" for Price, who had no previous convictions, aside from a fixed penalty for shoplifting last year.

That appeared to be the "catalyst" for the crime, the court heard, as Price failed to pay the fine and began to get letters from bailiffs demanding payment.

"This was really a moment of madness on behalf of Mr Price, who is at a loss even know to explain why he did what he did," he said.

"He is extremely sorry, not only for the upset he has caused his family but also for the impact on the two ladies who were in the bookmakers at the time."

Price was given an 18-month sentence for the robbery, plus nine months for possession of the knife, to run concurrently.

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