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Addict raided bookies hours after court hearing
A DRUG addict robbed an Oxford betting shop at knifepoint just hours after appearing in court.
Timothy Stern wore a disguise and concealed his face as he took £407.60 from Ladbrokes in Iffley Road on March 13.
The 29-year-old father-of-three was sentenced on Friday having earlier admitted robbery and two other shoplifting matters and asking for three other offences to be taken into consideration.
Prosecutor Simon Heptonstall said Stern had been in Ladbrokes on the evening before the robbery and noticed the manager taking money from the slot machines at about 8pm.
The following day, after appearing at Oxford Magistrates’ Court in the morning for another offence, Stern returned to the bookmaker’s.
Mr Heptonstall said the defendant concealed his face, wore one pair of clothes over another – ready to discard the outer layer after the robbery – and donned gloves before entering the shop at 8pm.
He said: “He went to the lady working in the shop as she was about to take the money from the machines, covered his face, and showed her a bag and a knife.
“He told her he knew it was policy for her to hand it over.”
Mr Heptonstall added: “He told police this was something he had learned in prison.”
Shop manager Amy White, who was working alone at the time, suffered sleepless nights and anxiety after the incident, the court heard.
Stern, of Blackbird Leys Road, Blackbird Leys, also stole 14 packets of meat from a Co-op in Oxford on February 20, three pairs of sunglasses from Scrivens in Oxford High Street on March 5, a television from Littlemore Hospital on March 7, and committed two other thefts.
He handed himself in to police on March 22 and admitted the Ladbrokes robbery.
Lucy Tapper, defending, said her client had “reached a point of absolute desperation” and welcomed a long jail sentence to beat his drug habit.
She said: “He would like an opportunity to be able to apologise to the victim of this robbery offence.
“This, for him, is the final step for him in putting his life back on track.”
Recorder John Hardy jailed Stern for a total of three-and-a-half years.