Knife robbers jailed after Co-op raid

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A robber stabbed the store manager in the thigh during a raid at a Co-op store, a court heard.

Robert Stephenson was working in the stock room of the shop in Brunswick Street about 8pm on June 1 last year when another member of staff told him a robbery was taking place.

Chloe Hudson prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court she had alerted Mr Stephenson after seeing two men - including Phillip John Mason, from Ovenden, Halifax - walk towards the tills and jump on the counter where another member of staff pressed the alarm before contacting the police.

Mr Stephenson ran into the shop to see what has happening and one of the raiders, Mark Lee Hendry immediately approached him holding a small black handled knife.

The manager grabbed hold of him and they struggled together for a few minutes when Mr Stephenson felt himself falling to one side and described something hitting his thigh. He later realised he had been stabbed.

Meanwhile Mason had grabbed cash and cigarettes before the pair fled but they were later recognised from CCTV footage by another member of staff who knew them and had seen them outside the store half an hour before the raid.

Anastasis Tassou representing Hendry said drugs were at the root of his offending at that time. He was now drug free which would reduce his risk for the future.

Kathryn Stuckey for Mason said he was the victim of an attack in 2013 when he had been stabbed with a Samurai sword landing him in intensive care for five weeks.

He was also using heroin at the time of his offences and had not anticipated Hendry’s use of a knife expecting only “a smash and grab.”

Hendry, 27, of no fixed address, admitted robbery, wounding Mr Stephenson with intent, possessing an offensive weapon and having a bladed article. He also asked for 26 other offences including burglary, theft and one of robbery to be taken into consideration.

Jailing him for 10 years with five years extended licence on his release, Judge Tom Bayliss QC said he considered him a risk to the public from further offending.

Mason, 40, of Weavers Brook, Cumberland Close, Ovenden, Halifax, admitted the robbery in which £670 was stolen and admitted being in breach of suspended sentences for burglary.

He asked for 65 other offences including burglary, theft and criminal damage to be taken into consideration. He was sentenced to 64 months for the robbery with 16 months consecutive from his suspended sentences, a total sentence of six years eight months.