Drunken thug robbed barber’s shop

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A drunken man robbed a barber’s till after his ex-partner refused to give him money.

Ian Fletcher turned up on a Sunday morning at the Chaps barber shop in Catcote Road, Hartlepool, unsteady on his feet waving a bottle of Prosecco, Teesside Crown Court heard.

“His former partner Laura Standing was working there at the time,” said Sean Dryden, prosecuting. “Another customer was in the shop with his young son.

“Fletcher demanded money from Ms Standing, saying he wanted the contents of the till.

“He was waving the bottle close to her face, spilling its contents onto the floor of the shop.

“Ms Standing described how his face was red and contorted with rage.

“She was so frightened her hands were shaking, and she was unable to open the till as quickly as she normally would.”

The court heard Fletcher dragged the till from its bench, causing it to smash on the floor.

“There was only coins in it,” added Mr Dryden. “Fletcher took a handful of coins, later estimated to be about £10.

“He told Ms Standing it was all her fault, and for good measure knocked over a display of hair products as he left.

“The other customer in the shop said he would have liked to intervene but felt frightened to do so.

“The damage to the till cost £150 to repair.”

Fletcher, 43, Alliance Street, Hartlepool, admitted robbery on July 17 last year.

Tamara Pawson, defending, said in mitigation: “This is more a case of a domestic dispute gone wrong.

“He is seeking medical help for his various problems, and he has no direct contact with the victim

“He is allowed unsupervised contact with their child, which is arranged through a third party.”

Judge Howard Crowson sentenced Fletcher to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, including 30 rehabilitation activity days, and a six-month drug treatment programme.

Fletcher was ordered to pay £510 in costs and compensation.