Drug addict jailed for robbery and burglary of Coventry bingo hall and Co-op - The Coventry Observer

17th Aug, 2022

Drug addict jailed for robbery and burglary of Coventry bingo hall and Co-op

Correspondent 27th Feb, 2017

JUST a month after being released from prison Justin Poyner used bolt cutters to break into a secure cupboard and steal the float at a Coventry bingo hall.

And two days later he robbed an assistant of money from the till of a city Co-op store, Warwick Crown Court has heard.

But despite his ‘substantial record,’ Poyner (44) of Heddle Grove, Bell Green, Coventry, was jailed for just 14 months after pleading guilty to charges of burglary and robbery.

Prosecutor Blondel Thompson said at 3.50pm on January 15 a member of staff at the Gala Bingo in Radford Road, Coventry, was in the gaming machine room when she heard a loud banging from the foyer.

She went to check and found Poyner behind the counter using bolt cutters to get into the cupboard.

Asked what he was doing, Poyner brazenly declared: “I’m just breaking into your cupboard.”

She went to get a manager, and when they returned to the foyer Poyner had escaped with about £320 in notes, leaving being the bolt cutters.

Two days later he went into the Heart of England Co-op store in Norman Place Road, Coundon, while the lone assistant was serving a customer.

He picked up a packet of jelly beans and put them on the counter, and as she scanned it he leaned over the counter, so she tried to shield the till drawer with her hand when she opened it.

Poyner put his hand on hers, and when she tried to push it away, he grabbed hold of her hand and snatched £40-60 in £10 notes from the till.

After he was arrested a few days later, he said he had wanted the money to buy drugs, having already spent the £320 on drugs.

Miss Thompson added that Poyner had ‘a substantial record’ for offences including burglary, and a large number for shoplifting.

Delroy Henry, defending, conceded: “These offences are set against the background of his quite frankly disgraceful antecedents.”

He said Poyner had been released from custody in December, earlier than he had anticipated, and at a time when he was ‘ill-equipped to cope’.

He had lost his partner, his daughter’s mother and his daughter, all of whom had committed suicide, in the space of three years, and was ‘in an incredibly bad place.’

Having been released, he found himself unable to get the medication he believed he needed, so he resorted to illicit substances.

Jailing Poyner for ten months for the robbery consecutive to four months for the burglary, Recorder David Chinery told him: “You are a man with an unenviable record going back more than 30 years.

“Your offending has become more prolific, no doubt because of your drug addiction; and here we are again in court with you facing charges of robbery and burglary.

“In the robbery you targeted a small store, and the victim was a young lady serving at the till. I accept no harm was caused to her, but taking hold of her as you did put her in fear.

“But both of these offences are at the lower end of the scale.”

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