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Crime Roundup 30/09/11 – Man jailed for eight years after series of robberies

Posted on - 30th September, 2011 - 9:40am | Author - | Posted in - Crime

A man has been jailed for eight years for a series of robberies in Chorley and Preston.

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Stuart Cheetham, 33, of no fixed address, was given the prison sentence when he appeared at Lancaster Crown Court last Friday. He had pleaded guilty to three counts of armed robbery in March this year.

On 9 March he threatened a member of staff at Aldi supermarket on Deepdale Retail Park with a knife and demanded that the till was opened. He stole around £500 in cash from the store before running away.

Officers traced Cheetham to an address in Preston where he was arrested on 10 March 2011.

Detective Inspector Paul Rudd said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the victims concerned. They were very serious offences that could have resulted in someone being seriously injured.

“Thankfully these types of offences are rare but we take them very seriously and are committed to investigating them thoroughly.

“I am happy with the sentence given and it should send a clear message that violent offences will simply not be tolerated.”

Cheetham must serve four years before he is eligible to apply for parole.

One other count of robbery, which relates to an incident at the Spar shop on Plungington Road in Preston on 6 March, will lie on file.

Five off licence workers face fines after selling alcohol to an underage teenager during a test purchase operation.

The volunteer test purchaser, aged 15, visited 14 off-licences across Wyre in order to see if staff would act on their responsibilities and challenge them for identification to prove their age. The operation was carried out by police and trading standards as part of an ongoing crack down on underage sales of alcohol.

Workers in five off licences – four in Fleetwood and one in Cleveleys – failed to make the relevant checks and sold alcohol to the teen. The staff will be given £80 fines and the licensee will now have to undergo a surgery with the police licensing team to discuss the importance of, and implementation of, thorough age checks on young customers.

PC Tracy Potts, licensing officer for Wyre, said: “Staff who work in off-licences, or bars and pubs, have a duty to make sure they are not selling alcohol to children and that they ask for appropriate identification from anyone who they suspect may be underage.

“Alcohol makes youngsters vulnerable and can put them in danger of harm. A lot of anti-social behaviour, and even crime, is committed by youngsters under the influence of alcohol so preventing sales can prevent this from happening.”

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