A homeless man who terrorised Mansfield shop owners in a three-week-long robbery spree to pay off drug debts has been jailed for 17 years.
Jamie Lakin carried out robberies at businesses between July 8 and July 24 this year, in a bid to repay money he owed to drug dealers.
On Friday, July 8, he walked into One Stop Shop on Birding Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, armed with a kitchen knife before demanding the member of staff on the till: “Get all the money and put it in a bag.”
He fled with £90 in cash.
Four days later, on Tuesday, July 12, Lakin struck at Sainsbury’s Local on Westfield Lane, Mansfield.
He demanded money while holding a red screwdriver, telling the member of staff: “I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt you.”
Lakin’s month-long crime spree caused great fear in the community.Det Con Neil Allsop
Lakin, aged 39, grabbed some £20 notes from the till before walking out of the shop.
On Wednesday, July 20, Lakin robbed the Shell petrol station in Leeming Lane, Mansfield Woodhouse, again armed with a knife.
He pointed the knife at the member of staff before taking about £150 in cash, including £5 from a charity bucket.
And on Sunday, July 24, Lakin walked into a branch of bookmaker Ladbrokes, on Ladybrook Lane, Mansfield, armed with a gun and a stick.
Lakin, of no fixed address, demanded the member of staff “give me everything you’ve got”.
However, after being told there was no money in the till, Lakin started to climb over the counter and attack the member of staff with a broom handle, striking so hard the stick broke.
Lakin only fled when the member of staff made a grab for Lakin’s mask, pulling it free.
Lakin ran from the shop attempting to cover his face with his arm.
He was arrested a week later and made admissions in his police interview, expressing remorse for his actions.
He told detectives he had committed the robberies to pay off a £4,500 drugs debt.
Nottingham Crown Court heard Lakin said he had been frustrated by the relatively small amounts of money from his first three robberies and saw the Ladbrokes raid as his “big one”.
However, he became frustrated and threatened the cashier with an imitation firearm before attacking him with the broom handle.
Lakin admitted three robberies and one attempted robbery. He also admitted possession of an imitation firearm. Six non-dwelling burglaries were also taken into consideration when sentencing.
Detective Constable Neil Allsop, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Lakin’s month-long crime spree caused great fear in the Mansfield community, not least among the town’s shopworkers.
“Lakin would typically enter a shop late at night looking to profit from scaring and intimidating staff, often women working alone, who showed remarkable composure and bravery when faced with a masked man with a weapon.
“We hope this strong sentence sends out a positive message that we will bring any such person who thinks they can use weapons to terrify people and steal cash that they will be caught and held accountable for their actions.”
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