Farnsfield knifepoint robbers are jailed

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Two men from Bilsthorpe have been jailed for two and a half years each for a knifepoint robbery at a newsagent’s in Farnsfield.

Curtis Whitehead (19), grabbed £690 from the till while Brandon Burbidge (20) kept the engine running in his car.

But a judge at Nottingham Crown Court told them: “You are sheep in wolves’ clothing, rather than the other way round.

“You did something which no one in your families would have dreamed in 100 years you would have done.

“You must have egged each other on.”

At one point Judge Michael Stokes, the Recorder of Nottingham, told Whitehead: “Stop blubbing, I can’t hear what’s being said.”

Whitehead, of Church Street, Bilsthopre, and Burbidge, of Eakring Road, admitted robbery of Allsorts, Main Street, on 20th February this year and having a blade.

Burbidge pulled up a short distance away about 5pm in his Corsa which he had bought six weeks earlier for about £500, said Jon Fountain, prosecuting.

Whitehead, wearing a scarf over his face and a deerstalker, walked to the shop where a 52-year-old woman was alone behind the counter.

He produced a large knife, which was never recovered, and told her to open the till.

He swore as he repeated his demand.

The woman was badly shocked and later broke down in tears.

The two men split the proceeds. Whitehead’s clothing was burned afterwards and he used some of his share to pay off a drug debt, the court was told.

When arrested Whitehead had £150 on him and Burbidge £130.

Whitehead had been severely bullied at school and became heavily dependent on cannabis, said his barrister Dominic Shelley.

Digby Johnson, defending Burbridge, said his client worked at a factory where he had done an apprenticeship.

“He got chatting with Whitehead about their finances. Before they knew it they had a plan.

“It was ridiculous, but they couldn’t back out.”

They had not checked on the CCTV at the shop. They parked where anyone might have remembered seeing the vehicle and they lived in the next village.

Everyone who knew them was saying ‘We just can’t believe it,’ said Mr Johnson.

The judge said because of the men’s previous good character, their youth and the fact they were unlikely to do anything like it again, the sentence was kept to the level it was.