Three men jailed for knife-point robberies - Dunstable and Luton


Three men have today, Friday, 18 March 2016, been jailed for a combined total of more than 24 years for three knife-point robberies.

One taxi driver had a knife held to his face while he was driving. He was pulled from his car which was then driven off. Two other robberies were carried out on Co-Op stores in Katherine Drive, Dunstable and Birdsfoot Lane, Luton, where staff were put in fear, Luton Crown Court was told.

Not all the men were involved on each occasion, but they all had a history of drug and alcohol misuse.

Wesley Brimble, aged 38 was jailed for seven years in 2012 for a string of similar robberies, and was out on licence when the latest spree was committed. He has since been recalled to prison to serve out this sentence.

Recorder Stephen Lennard said: "In just six days three serious offences of robbery occurred. All the victims were vulnerable people working at night to serve the public. Anyone who has read their victim personal statements would sympathise with the effect these offences had on all those at the scene at the time."

Before the court on Friday, via video links to the prisons where they are being held, were Brimble, of Poynters Road, Luton; Andrew Sinclair, aged 41, of Brook Street, Luton, and Sean Conroy, aged 34, of Arthur Street, Luton.

Brimble pleaded guilty to all three robberies and was jailed for 12 years.

Sinclair pleaded guilty to the taxi and Birdsfoot Lane robberies and was jailed for seven years.

Conroy had pleaded not guilty to the taxi robbery, but was convicted by a jury, and was jailed for five and a half years.

Prosecutor, Kevin West said the first offence was on 13 August last year and involved all three men, who had spent the day, drinking, taking drugs and gambling. Conroy called for a taxi and while it was in motion, Brimble grabbed the driver round the neck from behind and Sinclair held a knife to his face. He managed to stop the cab safely, but was pulled out of it by Brimble, who then drove the cab away. A small amount of cash, and a phone were taken.

On 18 August, Brimble alone went into the Katherine Drive Co-Op in the evening, wearing a balaclava. He threatened staff and members of the public with a knife and demanded money and cigarettes. He told one shopper he had a sawn off shot gun.

The following day, Brimble and Sinclair were driven by taxi to the shop in Birdsfoot Lane, where two female assistants were working alone. One woman ran outside to raise the alarm, but was dragged back inside. They were threatened with a knife and cash and cigarettes were taken. But police had been alerted and a member of the public had removed the keys from the taxi, so they fled on foot, but were caught shortly after and arrested.

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