shane Richards

Shane Richards

A man has been jailed for five and half years for robbing a filling station in Cambridgeshire by showing the cashier an imitation firearm.

Shane Richards, 31, went to the Applegreen Service Station, in Chatteris, at about 8.15pm on Saturday, 21 August, 2021, and loitered in the shop for some time before approaching the counter and demanding money from the till, while making a metal “pistol” visible in his trouser waistband.

The shop worker handed over £330 in cash after Richards had asked for “everything out of the till”, and said he didn’t want “to use it [the gun] but I will”. Richards fled but was later arrested after shop staff recognised him.

Earlier the same day, Richards and a friend, David Leadbeater, 33, had also attempted to get money from a vulnerable man in Fairway, Chatteris.

Richards knocked on the back door of the house and claimed the victim owed him £50.

When the victim tried to call the police, Richards grabbed the phone from his hand and pulled a crowbar out of his hooded top.

The victim went out to alert a neighbour and Richards and Leadbeater left without the money.

On Friday 14 July, at Huntingdon Law Courts, Richards, of Treeway, Chatteris, was jailed for five years and six months, having been found guilty of burglary, robbery and having an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Leadbeater, of Park Street, Chatteris, was jailed for two years, having been found guilty of burglary.

Both men were handed five-year restraining orders from contacting the victims.

DC Matt Reed said: “Richards’ crimes would have been terrifying for both victims and this result shows we and the courts will not tolerate violence like this in the county.”