Trio admit series of armed raids at Rotherham newsagents

Andrew Rich
Andrew Rich

A man and two teenage boys have admitted their parts in an ‘appalling’ string of armed robberies at Rotherham newsagents.

Andrew Rich, aged 30 and two boys, aged 16 and 17, who cannot be named, committed a series of raids at businesses in Swinton, Kilnhurst and Rawmarsh in January.

On January 6 a substantial amount of cash was stolen from Blaney’s newsagents, Highthorn Road, Kilnhurst, after staff were threatened with a gun

A few days later cash was stolen during a raid at Mighali’s convenience store, Claypit Lane, Rawmarsh.

And on January 16 more cash was stolen after a hold up at Howsons General Store, Bridleway, Rawmarsh.

The following day staff at Broadway News and Booze, Broadway, Swinton, were threatened with a gun but they refused to hand over cash and the robbers left empty-handed.

Rich, of Wortley Avenue, Swinton, was jailed for six years after pleading guilty to three counts of robbery, one attempted robbery and four counts of possessing an imitation firearm.

The 17-year-old was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to three counts of robbery, one attempted robbery and two drug offences.

The 16-year-old boy received a youth rehabilitation order after pleading guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.

Acting Detective Sergeant Iain Martin said: “These three were involved in a series of robberies at newsagents across the Swinton, Kilnhurst and Rawmarsh areas.

“Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt in any of the robberies but many local businesses and residents have been left shaken by their selfish and thoughtless campaign.

“They showed no regard for the businesses they targeted and while they admitted their guilt in court, thereby sparing the victims the further distress of a trial, their actions are appalling and I am glad they have been taken off the streets.

“The staff in each shop was left terrified by the use of a firearm, which thankfully we later discovered was an imitation.

“We conducted extensive enquiries throughout Rotherham, knowing that those responsible must live locally to the stores.

“Through CCTV work, we were able to identify Rich and the two teens involved, making swift arrests and bringing them before the courts.

“I’d like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding while we carried out our enquiries and hope that today’s sentencing reassures the public that three nasty individuals are now behind bars.”