ARMED ROBBERY - DONNA'S CONVENIENCE STORE, HAWTHORNE ROAD, BOOTLE
Detectives have released CCTV of 2 men they are hunting after they
robbed a family business in Bootle.
The 2 offenders appear in the
footage brandishing a metal coat stand and an iron bar which they
used to smash the protective screen in Donna's convenience store in
At one point, the owner of the
shop was nearly struck on the head by the offenders as he tried to
lock the door separating the customer area from the counter and back
The man and his wife, who are both
local to the area, escaped injury and managed to activate the
store's panic alarm before retreating into the back office.
The 2 offenders removed the till
before running out of the shop, across Hawthorne Road into Mill
Road. Detectives believe the offenders then left the area in a
The offenders stole £400 in cash
from the till yet face around 6 years imprisonment if arrested and
convicted of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.
Detective Constable Kevin Reppion from Sefton CID said the offenders
wore distinctive sportswear and hopes someone might recognise them
from their clothing, build or gait. He said:- "This was
a terrifying incident for the couple who run this business. This is
popular, well-used shop run by a local, hard-working family. They
are simply trying to make a living yet have suffered the ordeal of 2
criminals coming in brandishing weapons and stealing their takings.
The 2 offenders were extremely aggressive and the CCTV shows their
total disregard for the victims themselves. It is only through sheer
good fortune that the gentlemen who is trying to shut the security
door is not seriously injured by the offender wielding the coat
stand. Thankfully neither victim was hurt, but both have been left
distressed by what happened and I am calling on the local community
to help us catch these offenders before they can commit further
offences against decent, hard working people."
The robbery happened at 8.30pm on Thursday, 3 April 2014, following
the first day of the Aintree festival when many people will have
been in the area having a drink or visiting a local bookmakers ahead
of Ladies Day.
The force is currently cracking down on robberies against local
businesses and Chief Inspector Jenny Sims is leading the operation.
She said:- "Robberies against local businesses greatly affect
the hard working people who own and work in them, as well as their
customers who are local people themselves. The perpetrators of these
robberies care nothing for their victims, only for what they can
steal from them. Merseyside Police works with businesses to ensure
they have comprehensive CCTV systems and other security measures to
deter such crimes. These measures also aid in the police when it
comes to catching the offenders, such as the two men in this case.
The technology alot of stores have allow staff to alert the police
while the incident is in progress, and business owners are
increasingly keeping only small amounts of cash on site, meaning
criminals are risking many years behind bars for the sake of just a
few hundred pounds. My question to them would be:- 'Is it worth
Call DC Reppion at Sefton CID on:- 0151 777 3823 or Crimestoppers
anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.
More success for
the Freshfield Hotel
Freshfield on Massams Lane, in
Formby, Merseyside, has been named the Southport and District pub of
the year by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) for the second year in
a row. This is the 6th award that the pub has received from CAMRA in
less than 2 years. Just last year the Greene King pub also won the
Merseyside and Cheshire pub of the year, making its way into CAMRA's
top 16 pubs in Great Britain. "The Freshie", as the
pub is more commonly known, won the accolade thanks to positive
feedback and reviews from CAMRA members who are customers of the
pub. It is renowned for having one of the largest cask ale bars in
the region, with 14 beers on tap every day. The pub prides itself on
stocking only the very best real ales, from both local and national
breweries. The ales carefully selected by managers Simon Cox and
Steven Gregory are so popular that casks are usually empty within 48
hours. Craft ale was introduced to the pub this year, making the
Freshfield one of the first pubs in the country to stock Greene
King's brand new craft ales, including Double Hop Monster and
Yardbird. The pub is popular for its team members' passion and
knowledge of real ale. All new team members are given on-site beer
training by the managers and the full team regularly receives
further training, including how to recommend beers to match a
customer's meal. CAMRA's Stockport chairman Doug Macadam is to visit
the Freshfield to congratulate the team and present them with a
certificate at the end of the month. Steve Gregory, joint
manager of the Freshfield, said:- "Simon and I have been here
for less than two years and what a great time we are having! As a
team we work hard to keep our standards in both our food and drink
incredibly high and continue to introduce cask and craft ale to our
customers. Recently, we launched our own 'beer tapas', which allows
our customers to match food with beer, and is proving to be very
popular. We are looking forward to the year ahead which will include
more beer festivals and meet the brewer nights." Simon
Cox, joint manager, continued:- "We could not have won this
award without our incredibly passionate team, who provide our
customers with excellent service. This is another certificate we
will proudly display at the bar and we look forward to celebrating
our success with our customers. Thank you to everybody who helped us
to win this award."
Letter to the
Editor:- "Why is our address now Liverpool?"
"DEAR Editor at Mersey
Reporter... How is it we have suddenly become Liverpool in Formby
and Freshfield? I have had a run of letters saying our road name
followed by, Liverpool - It is like saying Lord Street, Preston,
when it is Lord Street, Southport. The other thing we are getting
more of is Formby, Liverpool and not Merseyside, yet Southport is
not Southport, Preston? We are Formby, Merseyside, just as Southport
is Southport, Merseyside. Is this Liverpool taking over Formby or
London trying to cause problems? It was only a few weeks ago that
London said we should have Manpool, instead to Merseyside and
Greater Merseyside. I was born in Merseyside and want to be a
Merseysider. Why are we suddenly and systematically losing our
identity again? Could it be that Merseyside is getting far better PR
internationally now than Greater Manchester or London, so they are
worried we are going to be a power to be reckoned with once again,
as Liverpool was historically?" Dave H, Formby.
So what are your views on this
issue Dave has raised with us? Email us your responses to:-
firstname.lastname@example.org and let is know what you
Lancashire Gang Jailed over £71M drugs plot
THE National Crime Agency (NCA)
on the 8 April 2014 announced to the media of their success
following the sentencing of a fugitive drug trafficker involved in a
plot to supply 400 kilos of cocaine in the UK. Ian Stanton, aged 43,
from Liverpool, featured in the Operation Captura 'unlucky 13'
campaign in November 2013.
The NCA operation was launched after 16 holdalls full of high
quality cocaine, with a street value of £71m, were intercepted by
Border Force officers in May 2013 at Tilbury Docks hidden in a
container of frozen Argentinean beef.
The cocaine was replaced with dummy packages of bricks and the
container was taken on a lorry to its end destination; a cold
storage unit in Wigan. One of Stanton's criminal associates
collected 2 holdalls, but later dumped them when he realised the
drugs were not inside.
NCA officers proved Stanton was part of the crime group that planned
a violent mission to recover the cocaine, not knowing it had been
seized by law enforcement. Officers watched and listened as Stanton
met with members of the group at the Aintree Retail Park. They
discussed the use of physical and sexual violence against anyone who
Stanton was captured at a house in Rotterdam by a team of officers
from the Dutch Police. Over 20,000 Euros, a drug press and numerous
mobile phones were recovered. He was extradited and later pleaded
guilty to the conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Greg McKenna, NCA Branch Commander, said:- "Stanton was a
fugitive who thought he could evade capture and continue drug
trafficking, but we tracked him down and now he's behind bars where
he belongs. This amount of cocaine could have caused devastating
damage had the crime group succeeded. They were willing to use
extreme violence, but as a result of close working with our national
and international partners their plan failed."
3 of Stanton's criminal associates from Liverpool; James Mossman,
aged 37, Gary Keating, aged 29, and Francis Oakford, aged 47; were
previously sentenced to a total of 20 years.
Stanton, Mossman and Keating all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
supply cocaine, while Oakford pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
Anthony Short, aged 40, from Creston, Lancashire, who purchased the
cover load of beef, was also sentenced on 8 April 2014 and received
22 years. He was found guilty of conspiracy to import cocaine
following a 3 week trial.
A financial investigation is now underway.
Officers also want to question Liverpool men Anthony Saunderson and
David McDermott in connection with the cocaine seizure. Both were at
the Aintree Retail Park meeting. If anyone has information on their
whereabouts please contact Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111 or the
NCA on:- 0370 496 7622.
These are stills taken from video footage taken of the container.