When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Armed raider gets six-year jail term after Weymouth store robbery attempt
A would-be armed robber has been jailed for six years for a raid on a Weymouth shop.
Jason Wheeler, 22, was with two teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, when the group targeted Costcutters on Buxton Road on January 13.
The court heard how a 16-year-old entered the store as part of a ‘casing exercise’ before alerting Wheeler and the now 17-year-old at around 8pm.
The pair then entered the premises armed with a hammer and a BB gun, while the youngest defendant waited outside.
Prosecutor Stuart Ellacott told the court that while the 17-year-old pointed an imitation gun at a staff member behind the counter, Wheeler headed to the basement where he used a hammer and swung ‘full body blows’ towards shop owner Roger Hayre.
The court was told how the two shopkeepers fought off the defendants who eventually fled from the scene.
Appearing at Bournemouth Crown Court, Wheeler was jailed for six years for attempted armed robbery and using a weapon to force and threaten staff inside the store.
The 17-year-old was given an 18-month youth rehabilitation order for the same offences.
The 16-year-old was also handed an 18-month youth rehabilitation order for one count of attempted armed robbery.
Both orders include supervision, a three-month curfew and regular drug testing.
The court heard how Wheeler had ran off alone before discarding the hammer and a tea towel, which he had used to cover his face, nearby.
In mitigation, Robin Leech told the court that Wheeler accepted the seriousness of the offence.
Lee Christmas, defending the 17-year-old youth, said: “The defendant is disgusted and ashamed and wants to apologise to the shopkeepers.
“The youth took no part in any physical injury received.”
He added that the teenage defendant had completed numerous courses in custody and also helped two prison officers who were being attacked.
While Mark Ruffel told the court, in defence of the 16-year-old, that at no time did the defendant believe a weapon would be used.
Speaking to Wheeler, Judge Johnson said: “You are 22 years of age and you together with your two co-accused on a late evening on January 13 made your way to a shop in Weymouth.
“You entered with a hammer and confronted Mr Hayre before starting to attempt to assault him by aiming full body blows at his head. Unfortunately for you, Mr Hayre and Mr Patel were made of stronger stuff than you expected.”
He told Wheeler that he would serve half of his six year sentence.
Both youths were praised for their efforts to change their lives and undergo courses while being held in custody and given credit for their guilty pleas.
Glad it’s all over
Speaking after the sentencing Roger Hayre, owner of Costcutter on Buxton Road, said: “We are just so glad it is all over now.
“I would like to thank the police for catching those who did this and bringing them to justice.
“I think the sentence of six years in jail is because of the viciousness of the crime.
“Luckily, no one really got hurt, I suffered some bruising from the incident.”
Conviction sends 'clear message'
Detective Constable Ed Meanwell, of Weymouth CID, said: “Thankfully no one was seriously injured but the trauma of this incident will impact upon the victims for some time to come.
“I want to thank the shop owner and staff for their bravery and also all the witnesses who called the police. Without their assistance Wheeler would not have been brought to justice.
“This conviction and sentence sends a clear message that these crimes are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”