Judge blasts ‘polite’ axe-wielding thief who raided Birmingham’s one-stop shop
A man armed with an ax and a key forced two women at a one-stop shop in Birmingham to open the store’s safe. Richard McAteer then fled after thanking them for their help.
McAteer, 46, of Turnley Road, Shard End, who previously admitted stealing and possessing an offensive weapon, was jailed for six years and nine months. He had entered the Maryland Avenue convenience store, Hodge Hill, on September 27, 2019 at 7:25 a.m.
At the time, one of the women working there was cleaning a cooler while the other was sorting magazines out back. “He entered the store holding an ax in one hand and a key and bag in the other,” said Ian Ball, prosecutor at Birmingham Crown Court.
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He said one of the women first thought it was a joke before seeing the axe. McAteer then grabbed her by the right arm and the accused then “led” the two women to the back of the store where a safe was located.
Mr Ball said the two victims set off alarms, but that did not deter McAteer, who then took between £130 and £150 in change. However, when he asked for scratch cards and cigarettes, he was told they were in safes with timers.
At one point, the accused threw the ax at one of the women who was afraid he would hit her. He was then let out from behind telling them he wouldn’t have hurt them and thanking them for their help.
Mr Ball said there was some planning involved and McAteer taped the rear number plate of the Ford Focus he used as a getaway vehicle.
Handing down his sentence, Mr Recorder David Mason QC said: “On September 27, 2019, almost three years ago, you walked into the One Stop at Hodge Hill and terrified the lives of these two women. He you may well have been reasonably polite to them.”
Charles Crinion, defending, said: ‘There was an incident where he broke his legs and in great pain started using class A drugs. commendable offenses which began to threaten his life. He was not in his right mind when he committed these offences.
“It was by no means sophisticated. He wasn’t wearing a mask, it was a morning robbery and he was hanging out in the neighborhood. It’s an unusual feature that he was surprisingly polite in what he did. said.”
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