Betting shop robber jailed - Hertford

28/01/2016

A man, who robbed a betting shop in Hertford, was jailed for nine years today, Thursday, 28 January 2016.

Brian Gage, aged 43, struck at the Coral betting shop in Fleming Crescent in the town on the afternoon of 18 November last year.

St Albans Crown Court was told today how, wearing a ski mask to hide his face, he had gone into the shop with an imitation firearm. He had told the manager behind the counter: "Empty the till - all of it." And, to other customers in the shop, he had screamed: "Any of you move and I will cap you." During the terrifying hold up, Gage, from Windsor Drive, Hertford, gave instructions for the safe to be emptied of any cash, with the money placed in a plastic bag which had contained the weapon. As a result, the court heard, he was given between £500 and £600 which was stuffed in the bag.

Colin Banham, prosecuting, said that as the drama was unfolding inside the betting shop, customers present thought the weapon Gage was brandishing was a real pistol. Before making off, he warned people present: "Don't look at me, don't follow me or I will cap you." But despite the attempt to hide his face, the court was told the manager recognised Gage as someone who had been in the shop earlier that same afternoon. CCTV footage was recovered which clearly showed him and when it was passed to the police, he was soon identified.

As a result, he appeared at court today via a video link from Bedford Prison, where he has been held in custody, to plead guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm at the time of committing the robbery.

Before sentence was passed today, his barrister Andrew Kerry told the court that Gage had been threatened by a gang to commit the robbery.

Judge John Plumstead jailed Gage for a total of nine years.

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