AN armed robber who pointed a realistic-looking handgun in the faces of two jewellery shop staff has been jailed for more than six years.
Drug-user Scott Lister was described as looking like “a madman” when he ordered the two women to get on the floor during a terrifying lunchtime raid at the Kingston Jewellers in Halifax last June.
Two days later he was involved in a ram-raid at Neimantas Jewellery, in Brighouse, with two other men.
A judge heard today that Lister had not been taking his anti-psychotic medication at the time he attacked the Halifax jewellers with his accomplice William Cochrane.
Prosecutor Anne-Marie Hutton told Bradford Crown Court that Lister, 30, of West Parade, Halifax, had grabbed one of the staff by her hair before he and Cochrane smashed display cabinets in the shop and fled with stock worth about £3,800.
The pair left the scene in a car which was later found abandoned and two days later they were both involved with Cochrane’s brother Richard in the ram-raid robbery at the jewellers in Brighouse, on June 30.
It was estimated that stock worth about £20,000 had been stolen during that robbery with damage to the shop put at about £10,000.
Lister, who had previously served a three-year prison sentence for wounding with intent, pleaded guilty last November to robbing both of the women at Kingston Jewellers and possessing an imitation firearm at the time.
Lister, who also admitted his role in the robbery at the Neimantas premises, was jailed for six years and nine months for the armed robbery in Halifax with a concurrent sentence of four-and-a-half years for the Brighouse ram-raid.
Barrister Adrian Farrow, for Lister, said he had gone along with the suggestion that he could clear his debts by committing the offences and he had expressed deep remorse for his crimes.
Jailing Lister, Judge Colin Burn said the fact that he hadn’t taken his medication simply added to the “picture of terror” suffered by the shop staff adding: “You were targeting, as far as high shops go, perhaps the most valuable goods that could be targeted namely goods in jewellery shops.".
Detective Inspector Gary Stephenson said: “Detective Inspector Gary Stephenson said: “Scott Lister is the first of three men sentenced today who conspired to commit offences across Calderdale where they used weapons to threaten their victims to facilitate the theft of high-value jewellery and watches causing panic and terrifying staff at jewellers across the district.
"I hope that today’s sentence demonstrates to the public our continued commitment to tackling criminality across Calderdale. You are not welcome on our streets and we will do everything within our power to detect offences, arrest those responsible and bring them to justice.
"I would also once again like to highlight the selflessness shown by the public-spirited people of Brighouse as they made efforts to apprehend the suspects even though they were believed to have been in possession of weapons.
"Their bravery and courageous actions prevented the suspects fleeing the scene before officers arrived and is to be commended."
William Cochrane, 39, and his brother Richard, 37, both of West Parade, Halifax, will be sentenced for their roles in the two robberies at a date to be fixed.
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