Jail for Spalding bookmaker robber

A police guard outside Ladbrokes in Hall Place, Spalding, after the robbery last year.
A police guard outside Ladbrokes in Hall Place, Spalding, after the robbery last year.

A man who carried out a robbery at a Spalding bookmakers and made off with £500 from the till was today (Friday) jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.

Craig Walling asked the manager of the Ladbroke’s shop if he could borrow £10 and then, without warning, produced a knife.

Lisa Hardy, prosecuting, said that Walling, with the knife in one hand, then grabbed hold of the manager with his other hand and led him behind the counter.

The manager emptied the till and handed over an estimated £500 to Walling, who left the shop straight away.

Miss Hardy said that Walling had initially played the gambling machines for 20 minutes after entering the shop at 9.30 am.

She told the court: “He then started to get agitated. The manager suspected the man must have spent in the region of £100.

“He asked the manager if he could borrow £10. The manager thought he was joking.”

Walling was identified by police from CCTV cameras inside the shop in Hall Place, Spalding.

He was detained the following day while sitting with his father in The Birds pub in Spalding. He had a bag with him containing an axe and when he was searched he had heroin on him.

Miss Hardy said that two months earlier Walling broke into a portable building at the premises of Terry Johnson Ltd in Cranwell Lane, Holbeach. He stole two mobile phones and a bottle of whisky. Later he walked into the Holbeach police station and confessed. He was searched at the police station and found to have a knife and a metal bar on him.

Walling (34), of St Matthews Close, Holbeach, admitted robbery on April 28, 2016. He also admitted possession of the axe and possession of heroin on April 29.

He also admitted burglary between February 26 and 29, 2016 together with possession of a bladed article and possession of an offensive weapon on March 13, 2016.

Walling was given a four-year jail sentence for the robbery and an eight month consecutive sentence for the burglary.

Nick Bleaney, in mitigation, said that Walling had a psychiatric history and wanted help.

He told the court: “The defendant has been under medical care long before this round of offending.

“The robbery was committed to get himself arrested and jailed.

“There was no attempt to disguise himself.

“His family have been trying to get him help. He has been trying to get help.”