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Two jailed for armed robbery and other offences

Dated: 27 Nov 2017 14:00 PM

Pair convicted of armed robbery [View Full Size]
Two men are now starting substantial prison sentences after taking part in an armed robbery at a North Shields store, just one of a string of offences they have now been convicted of.  
 
Lee James Stephenson, aged 39, of Loxley Close, New York, North Tyneside was sentenced to 12 years.  This followed a trial for robbery, possession of heroin, common assault and joint offences of theft from a vehicle, joint attempted burglary and joint burglary.
 
His co-accused, Craig Robert William Watson, aged 34, of no fixed address, was sentenced to nine years. He pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of a knife blade, attempted burglary, resisting a police officer in the execution of their duty and joint charges of theft from a vehicle and burglary. They were both jailed at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, November 20.
 
The robbery took place at the One Stop Shop on Kirton Park Terrace in North Shields on Thursday, July 13 at 6.21am. The pair, dressed in black wearing balaclavas entered the store and threatened staff with a gun and a crow bar. They stole cash and ran off.  Nobody was injured in the incident however the member of staff was left shaken.  Police were quickly on the scene and they were subsequently arrested after a search was made of the area.
 
Detective Constable Ian Pattison, Northern CID said: “This pair deserve to be locked up and the public should be reassured that they are now starting lengthy prison sentences. They have now been convicted of a string of offences and will have time to reflect on their criminal behaviour behind bars.
 
"We are committed to taking action against those responsible for serious offences such as robbery and carrying weapons. We recognise these offences can cause a great deal of concern in our communities and that’s why we’re firmly focused on making sure offenders are caught and face the consequences of their actions.
 
"These substantial sentences send a strong message to any other criminals operating in our region - we will find you, we will arrest you and we will make sure you spend a long time behind bars."