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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Cumbrian shop raider cried in arms of victim

A would-be robber who raided a shop where he used to work ended up sobbing into the arms of his victim, a court heard.

Sean Morrin, 28, was drunk after a four-day drinking binge when he went into Timpsons shoe repair shop in King Street, Whitehaven, on the afternoon of September 4, went behind the counter, and “terrorised” the shop manager, Kenneth Watson.

He threatened his ex-boss with a large screwdriver and punched him in the face before trying to get money from the till.

Mr Watson took his threats so seriously he feared for his life, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

But within minutes he was having to cradle the supposed hard man in his arms, as he collapsed sobbing on him, claiming – falsely – that his baby had died.

Today Morrin, of Brakeside Gardens, Whitehaven, is beginning a sentence of five years and two months in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of attempted robbery.

Prosecuting counsel Michael Brooks told the court Timpsons – who have a “laudable” policy of trying to help ex-offenders by giving them work – had employed Morrin for a short time, but had eventually sacked him after “several incidents”.

Morrin told the police he could remember nothing of the incident because he had been so drunk, but he accepted that he must have intended to take money from the till.

In mitigation defence counsel Paul Green said Morrin now claimed he had broken down not because of his baby – who was born healthy two months later – but because he felt so ashamed of what he was doing.

He said he had always got on well with Mr Watson when he was working for him.

Morrin was jailed for a total of 56 months for the attempted robbery and ordered in addition to serve six months of a nine-month sentence which had previously been suspended.

That had been imposed in March 2011 for punching and twice headbutting a man who he thought had been laughing at him in Tangier Street, Whitehaven.

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Batty QC said that though Morrin should have been grateful to Mr Watson for giving him a job, he “repaid his kindness” by subjecting him to threats and gratuitous violence.

The judge gave Mr Watson a £250 reward for his “obvious bravery” in trying to defuse the situation.

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