Axe robber jailed for raid on shop

An armed robber who raided a shop wearing a balaclava and wielding an axe has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Saturday, 12th January 2013, 12:49 pm

John Galloway, 30, of Laughton Road, Dinnington, admitted robbery at Sheffield Crown Court at an earlier hearing and was sentenced on Monday.

His younger brother Philip Galloway, 28, of Manor Road, admitted perverting the course of justice.

Ian West, prosecuting, told the court that John Galloway went to the back door of the Audiovision shop on Laughton Road in Dinnington on 11th August last year.

“Staff were at work just before midday on 11th August when they heard a knock at the rear door,” he said.

“There was nothing unusual in that as they were expecting deliveries.”

“It was then John Galloway entered the shop wearing a balaclava and waving an axe and shouting ‘give me the money’.”

The court heard that when he was offered £15, Galloway continued brandishing the axe and told a terrified member of staff that was ‘not good enough’ and demanded more.

“The staff member went and got £200 but was told it wasn’t enough and John Galloway smashed the axe into the counter. He took the cash tin and made good his escape,” said Mr West.

“Philip Galloway accepts hiding the axe in the shed where it was subsequently found.”

Both men denied having anything to do with the robbery when interviewed by police. They changed their pleas to guilty just before they were due to stand trial in December.

The court heard the father-of-three had 61 previous convictions and a drug problem had led to the robbery.

Adrian Harrison, defending John Galloway, said: “There was no significant planning other than thinking ‘I’ll get an axe and rob a shop’.”

“He has a long and unattractive list of previous convictions, though none are for violence. The majority of his offending was when he was a young man.”

“He has been clean from drugs but relapsed, which led to this incident.”

Dermot Hughes, defending Philip Galloway, said his offence had been bourne out of ‘panic and misplaced loyalty’ to his brother.

He added: “The time he has spent in custody has had a profound impact on him.”

Sentencing John Galloway to serve three-and-a-half years in prison, Judge Paul Watson QC told him: “There were aggravating features here.”

“You were wearing a disguise and there was an element of pre-planning,” he added.

Philip Galloway was given a six-month community order with a three month curfew between the hours of 9pm-6am, after the judge took into account the four-and-a-half months he had spent on remand awaiting trial.