Jail for two men who robbed four shops in week-long spree
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Two men who carried out a series of knife-point robberies at small community shops in a week-long spree of offending have been sent to prison.
Gary Lee Woods, aged 36, and James McClafferty, aged 37, were convicted following their trial at Northampton Crown Court after denying targeting the stores in Desborough, Broughton, Brigstock and Market Harborough over a seven-day period in January 2018.
The pair were found guilty after the court heard how Woods used a knife to threaten staff in order to steal small amounts of cash, as well as cigarettes and stamps, while McClafferty drove the getaway car.
Detective Sergeant Carl Darnell, who oversaw the investigation into the crimes, said: “I’m so pleased the jury saw through the lies of Woods and McClafferty and convicted them of these crimes, which netted them less than £1,000 but caused lasting trauma for their victims.
“The investigation into these robberies involved many people across Northamptonshire Police, and I am grateful for all their hard work in gathering the evidence presented in court, which helped to secure the unanimous verdict against these two violent offenders.
“We also owe our thanks to those affected by these crimes, who courageously relived their ordeals in court, and to those who witnessed them, including one man who bravely ran after one of the robbers and was able to get the registration number of their getaway car, providing a vital link that helped us piece the investigation together.
“Northamptonshire Police takes a zero-tolerance approach to any kind of violent offending, and the sentences handed down to these two men rightly reflect the seriousness of their crimes.”
At sentencing on January 21, Woods, of HMP Woodhill and formerly of Weekley Glebe Road, Kettering, was sentenced to seven years and nine months for four counts of conspiracy to rob. This sentence took into account a six-and-a-half year term he is already serving for another robbery carried out in August 2018 and will be served consecutively.
McClafferty, formerly of Crick Close, Corby, was also found guilty of four counts of conspiracy to rob and was sentenced to eight years and nine months.
Gary Woods (left) and James McClafferty (right) were both convicted of robbing four shops