December 8 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 3, 2013
A judge commended the quick-thinking actions of a police officer and a member of the public whose bravery helped foil an armed robbery at a Norwich building society.
Michael Toomey, 42, disguised himself with a baseball cap and held up the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society in Plumstead Road. He threatened staff with a knife and grabbed £6,531 from the tills before making a terrified member of staff open the safe.
During the hold-up, in which Toomey was brandishing a knife at female members of staff, window cleaner Simon Cramer walked into the branch, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Chris Youell, prosecuting, said that despite being told by Toomey to wait, when he had realised what was happening he quickly left and phoned police.
Toomey fled the scene after getting impatient waiting for the timing device on the safe to open, leaving the staff shaken and tearful.
Trained firearms officer PC Richard Doughty was one of the first on the scene and gave chase to Toomey, who was climbing over fences in nearby gardens.
Mr Youell said: “PC Doughty followed him as he ran across people’s back gardens.” He said that he then used his Taser on Toomey to arrest him.
Mr Youell said that PC Doughty was then joined by other back up officers. Toomey, of no fixed address, admitted the robbery at the first opportunity.
The court heard he was on early release from a five-and-a-half-year sentence when he carried out the robbery on September 16 this year.
Jailing him for six years, Recorder Maureen Baker commended Mr Cramer for his public spirited actions and awarded him £100 from public funds. She also commended PC Doughty for his bravery in his pursuit of Toomey.
She told Toomey: “This was a robbery where you used a knife showing it to cause fear.”
She said he had caused staff “considerable distress”.
“You then tried to avoid arrest and there was a long pursuit with a police officer chasing you before you were apprehended.”
Michael Clare, for Toomey, said that he had committed the offence as he owed money to a drug dealer who was threatening him and his family.
“He had been threatened with violence as had members of his family that is why he decided to seek short term gain. No one was injured. “
“His best point is that he has pleaded guilty. He accepted he had done it.”Michael Clare, for Toomey, said that he had committed the offence as he owed money to a drug dealer who was threatening him and his family. “His best point is that he has pleaded guilty. He accepted he had done it.”