Machete and knife wielding robbers who held up Tesco staff are jailed
Two armed robbers who threatened Tesco staff with a knife and a machete while stealing thousands of pounds of cigarettes and cash in the process have been jailed.
Gavin Milgate and Scott Stretton were captured on CCTV as they barged in to the supermarket on Stone Road, Stafford, at 11.15pm on October 4, wielding the bladed weapons.
They threatened the three female workers who were just leaving.
Stafford Crown Court heard that one of the robbers ordered staff to 'get on the floor' and 'turn off the alarms' before getting them to empty crisp boxes so they could be filled with cigarettes and cash.
Then they stole one of the worker's cars, a Ford Mondeo, to make their getaway. Before speeding off they got the woman to reverse to the back doors of the shop.
But she stalled prompting one of them to press a knife to her neck and threaten 'If you stall one more time I’ll slit your throat.'
The duo were foiled when within a few hours of the raid they checked into the Holiday Inn hotel in Walsall with 12 bin bags full of cigarettes, cash and spirits.
They requested to store their 'tools' until check-in time at 2pm which aroused suspicions.
The haul they took included £8,340 worth of cigarettes, £8,700 in cash and spirits and razor blades worth around £300.
The pair also brought suitcases with them and stashed cash inside before hiding them in undergrowth. They are yet to be recovered.
Police arrested them upon their return to the hotel.
Milgate and Stretton, both from Stafford, have both been sentenced at Stafford Crown Court today.
Milgate, aged 34, of no fixed address, was sentenced to five years three months for robbery, two counts of possession of an offensive weapon and theft of a motor vehicle.
His sentence also included 14 weeks for a suspended sentence for an earlier offence.
Stretton, aged 34, of Young Avenue, Holmcroft, Stafford, was sentenced to six years for robbery and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.
His sentence also included a 14-week suspended sentence for an earlier offence and five months for an attempted burglary at a house near Haughton, Stafford, on August 15.
Both had previously pleaded guilty to the offences at the same court on November 10.
Detective Inspector John Quilty, of Staffordshire Police, said: “We take these incidents very seriously. This was a very frightening experience for the members of staff involved so we’re pleased the work of our detectives has resulted in successful convictions for these men.
“We want to extend our thanks to the witnesses for their cooperation and to the local community for their support.”
Detective Constable Kathryn Middleton, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the staff members as they completed their day’s work and prepared to go home.
“We’d like to commend them for their bravery and resilience. We’re delighted these men were arrested swiftly and are now behind bars in a matter of weeks since committing this robbery.”