Colne man is found guilty of carrying out series of armed robberies

Huntingdon Law Courts

Huntingdon Law Courts - Credit: Archant

A Colne man who denied being involved in a series of armed robberies at convenience stores in Cambridgeshire has been found guilty following a trial.

Robert Walker, of Thimble Close, was convicted at Huntingdon Crown Court, on June 14, after a jury heard evidence that he was responsible for six armed robberies between November 6 and December 6, last year.

Walker, who carried out the offences with an unidentified accomplice, who remains at large, was found guilty of six charges following a week-long trial.

Marti Blair, prosecuting, said the first robbery took place at the One Stop, in High Street, Buckden, on November 6, when Walker, wearing a mask, went into the store and threatened those inside.

Mrs Blair said the store worker was forced to open the till while he was held by one of the robbers and intimidated with a knife. Walker and his accomplice then fled the scene with more than £700.

Less than a week later, on November 10, Walker and his accomplice targeted a Co-Op, in High Street, Longstanton, taking more than £900 from the store.

In the weeks that followed, Walker and his unknown accomplice committed a further four armed robberies, at the Co-Op, in High Street, Brampton; at Tesco, in Great North Road, Eaton Socon; at the Co-Op, in Glatton Road, Sawtry; and a post office in Dogsthorpe, near Peterborough. From all six robberies, Walker stole more than £9,000.

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Armed police arrested the 38-year-old on December 8 last year, in St Ives.

Throughout an initial interview Walker replied no comment to all accusations, which he later said was due to withdrawal from his medication, and the shock of his girlfriend being arrested. Walker’s girlfriend was later released without charge.

A search of Walker’s home carried out by police discovered a crowbar in a kitchen draw, along with a knife, two screwdrivers and a chef’s knife in new packaging.

However, Anand Beharrylal, defending, denied that any of these items were used in the robberies but instead were tools owned by Walker’s girlfriend’s ex-husband.

Also found was £700 in cash stuffed in a grey glove, which Walker told the court had been lent to him by a friend as he was struggling for money and ‘wanted to give his family a good Christmas’.

Walker was remanded in custody until a sentencing hearing, which is scheduled to take place in July.