Plucky worker foils dog lead robbery bid

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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“Stop being so silly”

A brave worker thwarted a cowardly would-be robber who struck as she manned a betting shop.

Mark Murphy, 22, of Queen Street, Blackpool, was brandishing a metal dog chain at the plucky deputy manager as she stood behind the counter at a William Hill bookmakers in Blackpool.

He had smoked a legal high shortly before his failed attempt to rob the shop on August 4, Preston Crown Court heard.

Judge Recorder Allriss said: “You thrust a carrier bag at the lone female cashier, brandished a dog lead and demanded money.

“To your credit you made a full confession and apologised. I feel I can take an exceptional step and suspend your sentence.”

Murphy received two years in prison suspended for two years, with 140 hours’ unpaid work, a rehabilitation activity, and £1,000 in court charges.

Karen Brooks, prosecuting, said: “Shortly before 8.15pm the defendant entered. He went to the counter.

“When she asked him for ID he was unable to produce any, and left.

“But five minutes later returned.

“He ran to the front counter where the complainant was standing behind a protective screen.

“He threw a white and orange carrier bag under the screen and told her to fill it up.

“He also told her he wasn’t joking, and he was holding a metal dog chain.

“She told him to “stop being so silly” and said she was ringing police.”

The court heard he fled the shop and she locked the door.

When Murphy was arrested a short time later he admitted the bungled raid, but said he couldn’t remember it.

He admitted attempted robbery.

Defending, Abigail Hudson said: “He immediately accepted his guilt, and repeatedly apologised.

“He expressed in the interview how embarrassed and ashamed he was, and wanted to apologise to the lady.”

A spokesman for William Hill said: “She was remarkably calm under pressure.

“We give our teams ‘Counter Plan’ training which has won awards.”