Screwdriver robber jailed

Andrew Clayton
Andrew Clayton

A MAN who threatened three students with a screwdriver in a terrifying robbery has been jailed.

Andrew Clayton and another man wore disguises in a pre-planned strike on a student house in Blackpool.

The defendant waved a screwdriver and mobile phones were taken from the victims.

Clayton’s 12-year extended sentence means he will serve five years custody and then be on an extended licence period for seven years.

The 26-year-old, of Charles Street, Blackpool, had denied robbery, but was convicted of three charges after a trial.

The offences dated back to February 20, 2010.

Preston Crown Court heard Clayton and his accomplice held up three people in the student accommodation on Palatine Road.

In addition, he was sentenced for two offences of doing acts intended to pervert the course of justice.

One of those offences involved him making a telephone call from prison, seeking to persuade two witnesses in the case not to attend court.

The other involved his adding certain words to a doctor’s certificate to make it appear he was unfit to attend court.

Clayton had a 102 previous offences on his record.

Bunty Batra, defending, said his client had endured a “fairly terrible” life up until present.

He said this included the fact he was almost completely blind, had suffered schizophrenia since the age of five and had also developed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and depression.

He had even suffered the devastation of his 18-month-old daughter dying in a car crash.

All of that was bound to have had a profound impact on his thinking and emotional behaviour and his attitude to life, said counsel.

Mr Batra said of the robberies: “There was no physical violence. A screwdriver was brandished.

“It was a very short incident.”

Judge Robert Altham told Clayton: “You and another committed robbery at a student house.

“It is plain that was a terrifying ordeal for the victims.

“I am absolutely satisfied it had been a planned attack.

“You brazenly fought a trial, lying that you were nothing to do with it.”