A BARMAID who staged a robbery at the Huntingdon town centre pub where she worked has been given a suspended sentence.

Charlotte Sodeaux, 22, planned the raid with her former boyfriend Craig Newton, 24, and two other friends at the Three Tuns as they were drinking in the High Street pub between 7.30pm and 8.45pm on November 8, 2010.

Newton returned to the pub shortly after 11pm with Kushmet Bardell, 26, of Waveney Road, St Ives, and Liam Carter, 24, of High Street, Huntingdon, to pounce of Sodeaux as she was taking the day's takings to the safe.

Sodeaux reported that they had assaulted her and threatened her with a baseball before taking around £3,000.

The three robbers then headed to The Golden Knight less than 20 minutes later.

Huntingdon Crown Court heard Newton had even returned to the Three Tuns the next day to change up bags of £1 and 50p coins.

Detectives became suspicious after it emerged that Newton had been heard saying to Sodeaux, of Williams Close, Brampton, "11 o'clock, but it's going to cost you".

They arrested the group of four on November 12, 2010, and recovered a cash bag from a bin at Newton's home, in Cotton Court, Huntingdon. They were all charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Newton pleaded guilty but the other three denied the offence and were all convicted at a trial. Bardell was jailed for 15 months at Peterborough Crown Court on Monday (January 23), while Newton was given a 10 month prison sentence, suspended for eight months.

Sodeaux was given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and Carter was given a 10 month sentence, suspended for 12 months. Newton, Sodeaux and Carter were also told to carry out 80 hours unpaid work.

Detective Constable Martin Brocklebank, who led the investigation, said: "These four thought they could carry out the perfect crime and get away with thousands of pounds.

"But their plot was flawed in many ways and it did not take long for us to suspect the robbery had been staged."