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Detective hopes Lyndon Stein's jail term can bring some comfort to victims
3:00pm Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
A SENIOR detective hopes the sentencing of “chilling” armed robber Lyndon Stein will give his terrified victims a sense of justice.
The man described as a “one man crime wave” shouted “cheers judge” as he was led to the cells to start a 13-year sentence.
He was warned that it will be up to the Parole Board when he will eventually be released.
And although Stein – a fugitive who led police merry dance before his capture – appeared to treat the sentence with disdain, detectives in St Helens hope it will ease the pain for his victims, who were mostly women.
Detective Inspector Andy Milligan, of St Helens CID, said: “The staff members involved were left extremely distressed by their ordeals.
“I hope that the sentencing brings them a sense of justice.”
The Star reported last week how the 49-year-old - who walked out of an open prison in Buckinghamshire in April – had pleaded guilty to 13 robberies and attempted robberies Stein, who pretended he had a gun by wrapping a metal tube or tree branch in a plastic bag, was finally caught in Newton-le-Willows following a seven week robbery spree across the country.
Sentencing last Friday, Judge Denis Watson, QC, said: “The victims were usually, not always, female members of staff, sometimes working alone, often with another member of staff.
“They are vulnerable and some of the premises had very little security if any. Chilling threats were made.”
Stein had walked out of an open prison in Buckinghamshire in April. He had been serving a life sentence for public protection, with a minimum term of five years, for armed robbery.
When finally arrested, Stein, formerly of Newton and Parr, told police he had been due for release and didn’t feel he would be able to cope in society.
His local targets were the Co-op in Newton-le-Willows where he ordered terrified staff to open the safe and told one woman: “get down there or I’ll blow a hole in you.”
He made off with £5,634 from Heron Foods in Newton after telling staff: “I won’t have to shoot you if you put the money in the bag.”
And he stole a further £1,100 from the Santander bank in Fingerpost. As well as stealing the cash, he snatched £400 from a woman customer’s hand.
His final raid took place five days later at a Spar store in Newton at around 10pm, where he threatened staff with a knife.
Adam Walker, defending, said 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.”
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