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‘I’m a thief not a robber,’ Carphone Warehouse raider tells court

By Deborah Hardiman | Telford | Crime | Published:

A youth accused of robbery at a high street mobile phone shop has denied hearing threats being made to the staff.

Carphone Warehouse at Forge Retail Park, where the raid happened. Photo: Google

The 15-year-old was part of a group of four males, described as in their mid-to-late teens, who burst into Carphone Warehouse at Forge Retail Park, in Telford, on November 10 last year.

Giving evidence during a trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court, the youth told the jury he was a “thief not a robber”.

He added he did not hear a shop assistant and the manager being threatened by someone from the gang.

Shop worker Cerys Lowe had earlier told the trial that when she attempted to press the store’s panic button, she was warned, “you move, I stab you”.

Under cross-examination by Mr Steven Bailey, prosecuting, the teenager said he did not hear the comment being made.

Mr Bailey asked him: “That is a lie isn’t it?”

The defendant did not reply to the question.

He said he had taken part in “snatch and grabs” at other locations.

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He told the jury: “There are lots of ‘gipsies’ stealing in this country.”

Mr Bailey said: “I do not care whether they are ‘gipsies’ or Martians, you know from these actions that sometimes when groups of people go to phone shops to steal sometimes there is violence.”

The youth replied: “Yes.”

Re-examining, defence barrister Mr Gerald Birmingham, said: “So you agree you are a thief and not a robber?”

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The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, replied: “Yes.”

The case also involves a 16-year-old defendant, who is absent from the trial.

The two boys had both offered guilty pleas to theft but deny robbery, which requires violence or the threat of it. These pleas were not accepted.

A mobile phone worth £239, two tablet devices and a number of phone cases were taken during the incident at the site, in Collier Way.

The trial continues at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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