A robber who pounced on an unsuspecting shopkeeper as he took his £16,990 weekly takings to the bank – blowing the lot on drugs and gambling within a month – has been jailed for five years and two months.
Removal man Robert Hannifin, 39, of King Henry’s Road, Primrose Hill, North London and an unknown accomplice targeted the victim who followed the same routine every Saturday morning.
The defendant snatched the rucksack stuffed with cash from the back seat of the victim’s car as his accomplice held the shopkeeper in a headlock.
Father-of-two Hannifin pleaded guilty at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court to robbing Jitesh Patel – boss of Windmill Stores (pictured), Ilderton Road, South Bermondsey, South-East London – on September 25, last year.
Prosecutor Mr. Benjamin Holt told the court Mr. Patel had just put the rucksack on the back seat of his car outside the store when confronted by Hannifin’s accomplice.
“A male asked him if it was his car in an aggressive manner and at the same time a second man opened the car door and grabbed the rucksack.
“The first male grabbed Mr. Patel by the neck in a headlock and pulled him away from the vehicle and both men made their escape.”
Police traced Hannifin through a mobile phone he dropped during the escape and he was arrested on October 15 – asking his mother for a tenner as he was led away.
The victim was not insured and the money was not recovered.
The court heard Hannifin’s seventeen-year relationship with the mother of his children ended as he turned to drugs after the death of his father.
He insists believing he was only going to involve himself in a distraction theft and not a robbery when agreeing to the plan.