Masked knife raider fails with appeal over ‘severe’ six-year jail sentence

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A homeless heroin addict whose armed raid was thwarted by a quick-thinking Hartlepool shop worker has failed in a bid to get his ‘severe’ jail term slashed.

Shaun Dennis, 34, of no fixed abode, admitted robbing the Post Office and Nisa store in Owton Manor Lane, armed with a kitchen knife and hammer.
He was caged for six years at Teesside Crown Court on September 8 last year.
CCTV showed Dennis entering the shop on August 7 last year, Judge Eleri Rees told London’s Appeal Court today.
He was wearing spectacles and a cap as a disguise - and brandishing a 12-inch kitchen knife.
Dennis was involved in a ‘scuffle’ with post office worker Carol Kimber, who was able to usher staff and customers out of harm’s way.
Ms Kimber locked the main exit and started to roll down the shutters to trap Dennis inside.
He grabbed ‘large quantities of cash’ from the Post Office and headed for the exit.
He used a hammer on a window in a bid to escape - but the shutters trapped him by the legs and members of the public outside the store detained him.
Dennis argued his jail term was far too tough and he should have got more credit for his guilty pleas.
But Judge Rees said the crime was ‘pre-planned’, the victim and premises were ‘vulnerable’ and Dennis wore a disguise and was armed.
“The resulting sentence was severe but not manifestly excessive,” Judge Rees concluded.