A worker at Morrisons in Eastwood has slammed sentences handed to armed robbers who terrorised the store’s petrol-station kiosk as too short.
Lee Watson, 26, of no fixed address, and Dominic Wright, 23, of Vale Crescent South, Radford, Nottingham, used knives, a crow bar and a hammer as they carried out a series of five evening raids last summer, including an attack at Morrisons on Kelham Way.
They netted a total of just £3,000 in cash and goods.
After an eight-day trial, a jury at Nottingham Crown Court found each man guilty of five charges of robbery. They had denied the offences.
Watson was sentenced to eight years behind bars and Wright to seven.
Watson received an extra two months for contempt of court after spitting in the dock.
Now a woman who works at Morrisons has spoken exclusively to the Advertiser.
She revealed that one of the men working on the night of the robbery had to quit his job shortly afterwards from the trauma, and said she and her colleagues think the pair should have been jailed for longer.
“They’ll only do half of it,” she said. “Seven or eight years should mean that, not three- and-a-half.”
The petrol-kiosk worker, who did not want to be named, said two male cashiers were working at the time of the robbery.
Of the man who left his job soon after, she said: “He wouldn’t work lates or do nights and then eventually he left.
“It does have a knock-on effect. These people don’t realise.”
But the woman revealed that new security cameras have been installed, which had made them feel a little safer.
“It makes you feel better to a point,” she said. “You can‘t have cameras in every nook and cranny though, can you?
“We are more wary of anything untowards now.”
Watson and Wright also raided a second petrol-kiosk in Loscoe and three stores, including one in Langley Mill, last summer.
After targeting Alldays at Langley Mill on Tuesday, June 26, Watson and Wright began a series of robberies in Nottinghamshire.
On Wednesday June 27, at 10pm, the pair robbed the One Stop Shop, in Cinderhill, armed with a knife and a crow bar. They used the weapons to remove two tills from the shop before running off.
On Saturday June 30, again at 10pm, they robbed Morrisons in Eastwood, at knifepoint. Watson jumped on to the counter of the shop and threatened workers. They fled with money from the safe.
They struck in Derbyshire again on Saturday July 9 at Texaco petrol station in Heanor.
Finally, on Thursday July 12, at 9pm, the robbers raided Boozebuster in Hucknall, armed with a hammer.
The following day, Friday July 13, at 8am, Watson took a Toyota Avensis from an address in Wood Street, Eastwood.
After a pursuit by police, the pair abandoned the car on a tram line in Basford. They were arrested after a short chase on foot.
As part of the investigation police spent considerable time matching items of clothing worn during the robberies to those owned by Wright and Watson.
The officer in charge of the case, Detective Sgt Steve Wragg, said: “This has been a very complex investigation.
“The pair wore masks and gloves for these offences so there were no fingerprints or DNA left at the scene. We used a great deal of forensic work – notably analysing clothing and footwear as well extensive phone analysis to place them at the crime scenes. It was a long process and we had in excess of 30 items for forensic testing. But ultimately that work has paid off.”
Det Sgt Wragg said the victims involved did “absolutely not deserve to be through that danger.”
“Watson and Wright used an array of tools to carry out these offences and intimidate shopkeepers that were simply going about their daily work,” he said.
“Ultimately these weapons could have caused life threatening injuries if they had chosen to use them in that way.
“The last thing shop workers should expect in their jobs, serving members of the public, is the fear of violence or to be involved in a frightening robbery.”