'I won’t have to shoot you if you put the money in the bag' - court hears armed robber Lyndon Stein's chilling threats to staff (From St Helens Star)
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'I won’t have to shoot you if you put the money in the bag' - court hears armed robber Lyndon Stein's chilling threats to staff
2:49pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
A COURT has heard graphic detail of how an armed robber escaped from prison and went on a terrifying seven-week crime spree during which he stole thousands of pounds from shops, a travel agent and a bank.
Lyndon Stein, formerly of Newton-le-Willows, fled from an open prison in Essex in April where he was serving a minimum term of five years for a number of armed robberies in Bristol.
At a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court Anya Horwood prosecuting said that following the 49-year-old’s escape he carried out raids at several properties down south before making his way back to Newton, where he struck at a Co-op in May.
He appeared in the dock alongside Sarah Brennan, 27, of no fixed address – who is the daughter of a former girlfriend – and Joseph Simm, 54, of Catherine Way in Newton, who both pleaded guilty to handling stolen cash from his final robbery.
Miss Horwood said that during the raids he would use an imitation firearm, usually a metal tube, tree branch or pole inside a bag to threaten staff.
He would go on to target Ashton-in Makerfield and Warrington before travelling to Gloucester and Bristol before returning to the North West, stealing £5,634 from Heron Foods in Newton on May 24 after telling staff: “I won’t have to shoot you if you put the money in the bag.”
Following another raid at a bureau de change in Blackpool, which netted him around £10,000 he stole another £1,000 after robbing the Santander bank in Fingerpost on June 11.
The assistant initially thought his demands for cash were a joke, before spotting what appeared to be a gun in a plastic bag.
As well as stealing the cash, he snatched £400 from a woman customer’s hand.
Stein, who was said to be “very agitated and high on adrenaline” quickly fled.
His final raid took place five days later at a Spar store in Newton at around 10pm. After chillingly saying to the assistant “you know who I am don’t you?” he pulled out a knife and ordered him to open the till.
As he marched staff to the safe at the back of the shop one of the women could feel the blade of the knife against her right hip.
Miss Horwood added: “As he left he said ‘You’ll see me in the paper next week’.” As with previous raids he was clearly identified on CCTV and his fingerprints were also found.
Adam Walker defending explained Stein had struggled to cope with the regime at the open prison: “He didn’t have the willpower to remain there and went on the spree interspersed with heavy drug taking. This was effectively a request to go back to prison.”
Stein who admitted a total of 13 robberies and attempted robberies is due to be sentenced tomorrow (Friday, September 27). Simm was jailed for six months and Brennan for a year.