Drugged-up raider jailed for 40 months after using screwdriver and needle in Queensbury shop attack

James Hancox
James Hancox

A drug-fuelled robber who tried to hold up a Queensbury shopkeeper with a screwdriver has been jailed for more than three years.

A court heard today (Tuesday) that 41-year-old James Hancox had already used £120 worth of crack cocaine and heroin, but then armed himself with the tool and a needle before attempting to get more money for drugs.

High Street, Queensbury

High Street, Queensbury

Bradford Crown Court was told that CCTV from the Alco Save premises in High Street captured owner Prince Sabharwal being confronted by Hancox on the evening of March 9.

Prosecutor Alisha Kaye said the shopkeeper had been working on his own when Hancox said he needed money and demanded the till.

Hancox then demanded £20 and a bottle of whisky, but the shop owner pressed his panic alarm when the defendant pulled out the screwdriver and pointed it at him.

Miss Kaye said the complainant thought Hancox was going to stab him so he grabbed a shutter hook to defend himself.

Bradford Crown Court

Bradford Crown Court

Hancox shouted racist abuse during the confrontation and at one point lifted up a pack of beer bottles and threatened to smash it over the shopkeeper’s head.

The court heard that Mr Sabharwal managed to get out locking Hancox in the shop and he sought help from a neighbour.

When they came back Hancox was trying to force open the till and there was another confrontation before the police arrived and used CS gas to subdue him.

Hancox, of High Street, Queensbury, made full admissions in his police interview and pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and racially aggravated threatening behaviour.

The Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC heard that Hancox had been out of trouble since 2005.

Jailing him for 40 months he said Hancox had deliberately armed himself before planning to rob a vulnerable shopkeeper.