Robbers warned to expect ‘lengthy jail sentences’

TWO men have been warned to expect lengthy jail sentences after they were found guilty of carrying out a New Year’s Eve armed robbery in Langtoft.

Luke Hamilton and Fabio Teixeira (both 26), were convicted of robbing the village store after a five day trial at Lincoln Crown Court.

The jury were told the pair chose the shop because it was a “soft target” and escaped with £1,000 in cash and some cigarette papers after store assistant Vylma Denniston was threatened with a knife.

Gorden Aspden, prosecuting, told the jury Mrs Denniston was working in the shop on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009 when she was frightened into opening the till by one of two intruders.

Mr Aspden said: “She was no doubt looking forward to knocking off for the day and seeing in 2010 with her family. Unbeknown to Mrs Denniston she was soon to be the victim of a robbery at the hands of these two.

“Hamilton and Teixeira, who both lived in Peterborough at the time, travelled to Lincolnshire to commit this offence. The small village shop they chose to attack was a soft target.”

Shortly after 3.10pm CCTV showed two masked men walking into the store. The robbers had armed themselves with a crowbar and a large knife.

“Hamilton who was carrying the iron bar went behind the counter and tried without success to get the till open. Teixeira stood guard with the large knife,” Mr Aspden added.

“Teixeira threatened Mrs Denniston with the knife and ordered her to open the till.”

The pair drove back to Peterborough in Teixera’s car, the jury was told. But Mr Aspden said the pair had made a number of mistakes which led police to identify them.

A camera outside the store showed the two robbers hanging around outside before they pulled down their balaclavas, and Hamilton’s finger prints were later found in Teixeira’s car.

Teixeira, of High Street, Fletton, and Hamilton, now of no fixed address, both denied the robbery.

Teixeira told police he spent the day at home with his girlfriend only going out to visit a supermarket in Peterborough. Hamilton made no comments during interview.

The case was adjourned for probation reports and the pair will be sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court on April 5.