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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Violent Carlisle shop raider’s prison sentence cut bid fails

A doped-up robber who trashed his corner shop during a violent raid has been told by top judges that his eight-year jail term was not a day too long.

James Howard photo
James Howard

James Howard, 27, entered the Foreways Store, in Bedford Road, Carlisle, armed with a metal bar and a sharpening skewer, causing cans of lager to explode before attacking the 63-year-old shopkeeper and demanding money.

Howard, of Raffles Avenue, Raffles, was sentenced to eight years behind bars at Carlisle Crown Court on February 8 this year, having pleaded guilty to robbery.

The Lord Chief Justice, Sir Igor Judge, Mr Justice Owen and Mr Justice Griffith Williams, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, heard him ask for that sentence to be reduced at a hearing.

The court heard that, after an altercation on January 19 this year between himself and William Bone, the shopkeeper, Howard returned to the store the following evening, having taken 60 Valium and a bottle of white wine.

Howard was disguised with a pair of tights over his face and armed with two weapons. He smashed up the shop with the metal bar before pushing the shopkeeper to the ground and prodding him with the skewer, screaming for money the whole time. The staff of the shop fled outside and managed to lock Howard in, as well as pulling his disguise off. The robber raided the till then fled through the back door.

Mr Justice Griffith Williams said the court agreed with the sentencing judge.

Observing that Howard has previous convictions for no less than 11 violent offences, Mr Justice Griffith Williams rejected the appeal, concluding: ‘We are satisfied that the offending was so serious as to call for a sentence at the top end of the higher range.”

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