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Two jailed for petrol station knifepoint robbery

By Andrew Morris | Shrewsbury | Crime | Published:

Two drug addicts who carried out a late night knife point robbery at a petrol station have both been jailed.

Dale Walton and Rebecca Hitchin escaped with more than £700 in the raid at the Cross Houses petrol station, near Shrewsbury.

The pair obscured their faces with scarves and hats and brandished a knife as they demanded cash from the till.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court Walton was jailed for 52 months and Hitchin for 40 months after admitting charges of armed robbery.

The court heard that both had criminal records which were largely linked to their history of drug addiction and that Walton was on licence at the time of the incident.

Robert Edwards, prosecuting, said that attendant Susan Baker had been preparing to close the village petrol station and shop on the A458 around 9pm on November 11 last year.

He said the owners lived above the premises and there was CCTV in place.

Mr Edwards said 34-year-old Walton kept saying "give us the money" and 36-year-old Hitchin was holding the knife.

He said that as the pair moved towards a private area behind the counter Miss Baker fell over, but did not know if she tripped or was pushed.

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"As she panicked trying to open the till Walton was saying 'hurry up' and Hitchin was brandishing the knife towards her," said Mr Edwards.

He said she was able to push an alarm button as the money - a total of £730 - was being put into a carrier bag. An attempt was made to pick a Pay Point till under counter.

Hitchin also grabbed a quantity of cigarettes and tobacco as the two left the petrol station and drove away in a white van which was stopped two days later being driven by Walton and he was arrested.

In an impact statement Susan Baker said she was scared because she did not know what they were capable of doing and would hurt her if she did not do what she was told.

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Walton, of Coachwell Close, Telford, was said to have convictions for over 100 offences involving car crime, dangerous driving, burglary, cultivating cannabis and dealing heroin.

He was jailed in 2015 for a robbery at a Telford men's clothes shop when £1,160 was stolen and he had been released on licence just three months before the raid at the petrol station.

Hitchin, of Withybrooke, Woodside, Telford, who appeared in court via a video link from prison, had previous convictions for shoplifting, handling stolen goods, assault and an attempted street robbery.

Paul Smith, for Walton, said his client had a long history of drug abuse and Jodie Smith, for Hitchin, said her client apologised for her actions, but she had a background of drug addiction and was a victim of domestic abuse.

Andrew Morris

By Andrew Morris
Content Manager - @AndyMorrisStar

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