Extended 11.5 year jail term for blade wielding shop robber who 'showed no remorse'

A shop owner had a machete held to his throat while his assistant was locked in a toilet by three armed robbers.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28th June 2018, 1:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th July 2018, 6:19 pm
Liam Malcolm
Liam Malcolm

One of the thugs, Liam Malcolm, is today beginning an extended prison sentence of 11 and a half years in jail with a licence period of three and a half years after Recorder Kevin Grice said he found the public was at risk of his future offending.

He said: " You have shown absolutely no remorse."

Preston's Sessions House Court heard Malcolm and two other armed robbers, wearing balaclavas, arrived at the Thorougoods convenience store on Leyland Road in a BMW that had been previously stolen in a burglary and had false number plates.

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At around 9.45pm on November 19 they burst into the shop armed with a machete and two knives.

Prosecuting, Alison Mather said one of the men jumped over the counter and held the machete to the shopkeeper's neck.

Malcolm, of Threefields, Ingol, Preston, and the other men smashed the CCTV.

His assistant was forced to hand over her mobile phone before being locked in a toilet cubicle.

£320 cash was stolen along with cigarettes before they made their getaway, threatening to cut a customer who was on his way in.

The assistant's father, who was arriving at the shop to pick her up, saw the BMW speeding off. The victims had to be treated for suspected shock by paramedics.

Six days later, the same BMW was spotted by police in Ingol, and Malcolm drove it dangerously on Tag Lane and Mayfield Avenue at speeds of more than 70mph as he tried to evade them.

At one point he drove on wrong side of the road towards oncoming traffic, before the car crashed into a wall.

Forensics teams searched the car and found a kitchen knife and black balaclava on the front seats, with Malcolm's saliva was found on the balaclava.

Malcolm, who managed to flee the scene, was arrested on November 27 at his home.

In a police interview he said: "I'm not going to grass."

The court heard the innocent victim of the burglary was later spoken to - as a suspect - due to the cloned number plates.

He later admitted admitted aggravated vehicle taking about was found guilty of robbery after a trial.

He has 16 convictions for 33 offences.

Defending, Nick Kennedy argued there was insufficient evidence to say Malcolm was a dangerous offender and said no physical harm or injury was done to the victims.

But Recorder Grice said: " I'm quite satisfied a firm attempt was made to disguise your identities by the adoption of false Liverpool accents.

"In addition the three of you were armed with a machete, described as two foot with a significant cutting blade, as well as two knives.

" You went to the shop at that time because you knew it was about to close and the shopkeeper would therefore be cashing up.

"The legitimate owner was stopped by police and detained as a suspect and in my view it cannot be overlooked that he was a further victim of this enterprise.

"In my view this was a prolonged terrifying attack on a vulnerable local store."

Malcolm will be subject to a 16 month disqualification when he is released.