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Armed robber given four-year sentence for £11 crime

McCauley Cook, 18, was jailed for 4 years for pointing a gun at a shop worker in a brazen armed robbery and demanded just one packet of cigarettes and a bottle of WKD.

McCauley Cook, 18, was jailed for 4 years for pointing a gun at a shop worker in a brazen armed robbery and demanded just one packet of cigarettes and a bottle of WKD.

A teenager who pointed a gun at a shop worker in a brazen armed robbery demanded just one packet of cigarettes and a bottle of WKD.

McCauley Cook, 18, has now been jailed for four years for the robbery of goods worth less than £11.

The courageous shop worker, who followed Cook out of the shop and reported him to the police, has since left his job, as he was so shaken up by the robbery.

Cook later told probation officers his mother would be proud of him for his actions.

CCTV from The Booze Stop, in Watkin Lane, Lostock Hall, shows the teenager stroll casually into the shop at 3.45pm on May 6.

After a few seconds perusing the shelves, he pulls a gun, which turned out to be a BB gun, from his trousers, making no attempt to hide his face or disguise his appearance.

Cook had bought the gun on a shopping trip in Preston city centre and had spray-painted it black to make it appear more authentic, Preston Crown Court heard.

Pointing the gun at the shopkeeper, the teenager demanded a packet of Lambert and Butler cigarettes but when the man handed over a pack of 10, Cook insisted he wanted 20.

The man took out his mobile phone and began filming Cook but he told him to put it down or he would shoot him.

As Cook walked from the shop he helped himself to a bottle of blue WKD from the fridge before strolling back into Watkin Lane.

Police made enquiries and found Cook at a flat next door to the off-licence he had robbed.

He admitted he had the BB gun, which was blue when he bought it, because there were people in Preston “after him” because he owed them money for drugs.

Judge Heather Lloyd, sentencing, said: “You purchased an imitation firearm. The reasons you purchased it are immaterial to me and immaterial to the shopkeeper whom you threatened.

“You painted it black to make it appear more realistic. It is true you didn’t have any ammunition but (the shopkeeper) wasn’t necessarily to think that.

“In broad daylight you walked into the shop. In broad daylight you brandished it for some time. You didn’t seem to be concerned if you would be recognised or if anybody were to come into the building.

“During a telephone call with your mother you stated that when you get out of custody you would hurt your victim and leave him disabled.

“Whether that was blasé or trying to look big, I do not know. It is a worrying attitude you are displaying.

“It is also worrying that you are considered to have an elevated sense of self-importance.

“You have a complete lack of control and your needs override everyone else.”

The court heard Cook had a difficult upbringing with little in the way of role models, but Judge Lloyd said: “Most young men who appear before this court have your type of background, sadly.

“Your only real mitigation is your age and your guilty plea.”

Cook, of Rothwell Avenue, Accrington, who was staying in Lostock Hall at the time, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.

He was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institute but Judge Lloyd he would serve half before being released on licence.

She said: “I take the view that the length of the sentence will provide sufficient time to grow up.”

 

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