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Shrewsbury robbery suspect claims he threw knives in River Severn to 'stop more injuries'

By Nick Humphreys | Shrewsbury | Crime | Published:

A suspect who wrapped up knives in a hat before throwing them into the river after a Shrewsbury town centre robbery claims he did so "to stop more injuries".

Giving evidence at his trial, Simon Llewellyn, 40, said that he pleaded with acquaintance Luke Pritchard to leave victim Gary Ryan alone during the incident, which happened on the morning of March 25 near the steps between Castle Street and Raven Meadows. Mr Ryan suffered stab wounds and had his wallet and mobile phone taken.

Llewellyn, of Pulrose Walk, Shrewsbury, was shown CCTV footage by his defence barrister Paul Smith at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

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It showed Pritchard, who has already admitted to his part in the robbery, get Mr Ryan in a headlock before Llewellyn arrived on the scene, putting his hood up to try and hide his bald head from the cameras.

It then showed Llewellyn crouching, appearing to talk to both men.

Mr Smith asked Llewellyn: "What were you saying to Luke Pritchard?"

Llewellyn replied: "I told him to stop and leave him alone. He'd had enough by the looks of it. I was begging him to leave him alone."

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Llewellyn claimed he and Pritchard had gone to meet Ryan to buy crack cocaine.

Footage was shown of Llewellyn wrapping up two knives in a discarded hat before sprinting away. He then looked to throw them away into a nearby bin lorry, but claimed he didn't do so because "there were too many people looking at me."

He said that he threw the knives into the River Severn. Asked why he wrapped the knives and threw them away, he said: "I didn't want there to be any more injuries."

Llewellyn and Pritchard also faced charges relating to taking over an acquaintance's flat and using it as a crack den.

The jury found Pritchard not guilty of both burglary and of an alternative charge of theft on Judge Anthony Lowe's directions due to lack evidence. Llewellyn was found not guilty of burglary on the same directions. He now stands trial relating to that occasion for theft, false imprisonment and handling stolen goods, as well as robbery for the town centre incident.

Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Bridgnorth.

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