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AN axe-wielding robber who terrorised staff and customers in a Spar store is to spend six years behind bars after a witness singled him out in an ID parade.

Andrew Stevenson and an accomplice, who is still on the run, targeted the store on Thelwall New Road, Grappenhall, on May 23 this year.

The 24-year-old entered the shop dressed in a black disguise, brandishing an axe and shouting at a shop assistant to open the till, Warrington Crown Court heard.

His accomplice stood in the doorway with his face covered and held what is thought to have been a 12 inch knife.

The defendant, of St Peter’s Way, Orford, who has 10 previous convictions for 23 offences – including shoplifting, theft of a motor vehicle and using a lead bar during a robbery – held the axe above cashier, Emma Cooper’s head, when she went to find someone to help her open the till.

Debra White, prosecuting said Mark Stoddard, the area manager saw Stevenson on the CCTV from the shop’s office. He went into the shop and said to the robber: “Take what you want.”

Mr Stoddard fell trying to open the office door that appeared to be locked.

While on the floor Stevenson hit him with metal part of the axe bruising his arm.

A third member of staff, the store manager opened the till and gave Stevenson £500 cash.

The defendant demanded the keys to the safe and took Mr Stoddard’s phone and wallet, which contained around £185.

He was arrested on June 17 after an ID parade.

Simon Berkson, defending, said: “In prison he had been attending courses in bricklaying, plastering and he has been doing some rail engineering work.”

Mr Berkson said his client’s guilty plea was an apology to his victims.

Judge Thomas Teague said: “It was an absolutely terrifying incident and those who witnessd it will be terrorised by it for the rest of their lives.”

Warrington Guardian

From 2008.

MEMBERS of a biker gang kicked a man in the face after attacking him in a town centre pub and brandished a knife at customers who tried to come to his aid.

Michael Mckeon and Andrew Stevenson dragged their victim from Porters Ale House before beating him up in an early hours ‘drink and drug fuelled’ attack, Liverpool Crown Court heard on Friday, July 6.

The pair, members of biker gang the Sons of Hell, were drinking in the Buttermarket Street pub at around 2.30am on Saturday, January 27, when Chris Forshaw became involved in a dispute at the bar.

Mr Forshaw claimed that he had dropped some money and was bending down to pick it up, but a female customer accused him of attempting to steal her cash.

He was then dragged outside to the smoking area at the rear of the pub by Mckeon and Stevenson, who were wearing Sons of Hell branded jackets – with CCTV of the ensuing ‘totally unprovoked and unnecessary’ attack played in court.

Mckeon, of West Avenue in Stockton Heath, pushed Mr Forshaw to the floor and kicked him in the face before punching him.

Stevenson, of Lovely Lane in Whitecross, pointed a knife at customers who attempted to come to Mr Forshaw’s aid and elbowed him in the face and chest.

The 34-year-old was also seen taking hold of another unidentified victim by the throat.

Mr Forshaw suffered bruising and bleeding to his eyes after the assault.

On Friday, recorder Stephen Riordan sentenced Stevenson to two years and nine months behind bars but spared Mckeon from serving time in jail after the pair admitted actual bodily harm.

Stevenson also admitted possession of a bladed article and breaching a suspended sentence handed to him for affray in 2016.

The court heard that the Northwest Spartans Ltd business owned by Stevenson, who has 14 previous convictions for 36 offences, which employs six people would fold if he was jailed.

He claimed he had branded a bevel edged work tool in the pub rather than a knife.

Barrister Desmond Lennon, representing Mckeon, told the court that his client had served in the Royal Engineers between 2008 and 2012.

The 28-year-old, who has one previous conviction for being drunk and disorderly, was employed as a welder before being made redundant eight months ago.

He has since trained to work in the security industry.

Mckeon was given a 15-month jail sentence suspended for two years, handed a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 30 days and ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work.

Sentencing, recorder Riordan said: “This was a disgraceful incident of violence and a sustained assault.

“For little or no reason, the victim was removed from the bar and attacked by both of you.

“You continued to attack him when he was on the floor, and he received nasty injuries.

“There is one very significant difference between the two of you, a difference which must be reflected in the sentences I pass today.

“Mr Stevenson, you have a quite appalling criminal record while you Mr Mckeon are effectively of previous good character.

“There has to be some disparity in the sentences in this case.”

Warrington Guardian