Robber with knife gets six years

A knife wielding raider who robbed the same Barnstaple corner shop twice because he got away with it the first time has been jailed for six years. Exeter Crown Court heard 35-year-old Karl Cullen terrorised assistant Natasha Lock at the Summerland

A knife wielding raider who robbed the same Barnstaple corner shop twice because he "got away with it the first time" has been jailed for six years.

Exeter Crown Court heard 35-year-old Karl Cullen terrorised assistant Natasha Lock at the Summerland Stores in Summerland Street, brandishing a carving knife within 10 inches of her face and demanding money from the till. He then snatched �250 and made good his escape.

Prosecutor Howard Philips said that thinking he had got away with that armed raid on April1, he went back to the same shop on July 22 and tried his luck again.

This time he confronted Dylan Williams and again brandished the knife. He grabbed �180 from the till, but courageously Mr Williams jumped forward at him and disarmed the raider before he made his getaway.


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The court heard Cullen a heroin addict living in Yeovil, had numerous previous convictions including arson, assault and drug supplying.

Mitigating Richard Crabb said Cullen had been addicted to heroin for 20 years and at the time of the two robberies his habit was costing him �50 a day.

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Passing sentence Recorder John Williams told Cullen: "You were armed with a substantial carving knife and Ms Lock must have been absolutely terrified at having that knife held just 10 inches from her face. Then on the second occasion Mr Williams suffered the same sort of treatment with the knife held six inches from his face. He had the courage to try and stop you at great personal risk because he did not know what your reaction would. It could have been disastrous and I think he should receive a commendation.

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