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Man jailed for armed robbery at Westbourne convenience store

Man jailed for armed robbery at Westbourne convenience store

A man who robbed a convenience store while armed with a meat cleaver has been jailed.

Sam Hewett, 31, unemployed, of Renown Gardens, Waterlooville, Hampshire, was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for the robbery when he appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court on Tuesday (August 4).

Police had been called to the Co-op store at The Square in Westbourne around 6.25pm on Sunday 24 May to reports of man entering the shop and demanding cash from the tills.

The man had been seen by a witness putting on a balaclava and baseball cap before entering the store and producing the meat cleaver. He was then seen to climb over the counter and take around £400 from the till before leaving the shop.

Hewett was arrested and charged with the offence after his DNA was found on the baseball cap, which the offender had dropped while fleeing the scene.

A search of Hewett’s address also found clothing matching that seen to be worn by the offender in CCTV footage of the incident, including turquoise green medical gloves.

He pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article in a public place. He received an 18-month sentence for the latter offence, to run concurrently to the four-year sentence he received for the robbery.

Hewett was also convicted of a burglary at a fish and chip shop in Westbourne on September 26, 2019, in which a safe, till and charity tin were stolen, and a burglary at a barber shop in Havant.

He was sentenced to a further 12 months’ imprisonment to run consecutively, giving a total sentence of five years. Hewett also had a further four offences of burglary taken into consideration.

Detective Sergeant Jason Vickers said: “Hewett travelled around six miles from his home address just to commit this robbery in Westbourne.

“While no one was hurt, it was a terrifying ordeal for the staff member working in the shop at the time.

“We worked closely with our colleagues in Hampshire Constabulary to arrest and secure the charges against Hewett, and we are pleased to see the severity of his offending reflected in his sentence.”