Armed robber held up shop on Christmas Eve

CCTV from the armed robbery
CCTV from the armed robbery

An armed robber held up a shop on Christmas Eve after threatening staff, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Thursday).

Michael Elstom was one of two balaclava-clad men who staged the raid on the Spar Shop in Winthorpe Avenue, Skegness.

Michael Elston

Michael Elston

Christopher Geeson, prosecuting, said that Elstom was armed with an imitation pistol and a second unidentified robber had a 15-inch bladed machete when they entered the store and demanded cash from the tills.

One of the men threatened he would use the machete to cut a male member of staff unless he hurried up in handing over the money.

And a second staff member was threatened that her hands would be cut off unless she kept them visible to the robbers.

During the incident Elston threatened her with the gun while she handed over money from a second till.

Brian Buttery

Brian Buttery

The two men fled with more than £900 using a stolen moped to get away from the scene.

Mr Geeson said “A couple walking past saw the robbery and saw the men run out of the shop. They were nearly knocked over by the moped and were shaken up by what happened.”

Elstom, who had been visiting a relative in Skegness, was then driven back to his home city of Sheffield only for the vehicle to be stopped by police on the A57 at Shireoaks near Worksop. Cash stolen in the robbery was found in the car.

Mr Geeson said that the female member of staff working in the shop had been badly affected by her experience and has since suffered flash backs.

Elstom, 34, of Standon Road, Sheffield, admitted robbery on 24 December. He was jailed for five years and seven months.

Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told him “This was plainly a serious offence of robbery. There was significant planning.”

Brian Buttery, 34, of Fife Gardens, Sheffield, admitted a charge of assisting an offender in the commission of a robbery. He was jailed for three years.

Vivianne Agus, 47, of Emerson Crescent, Sheffield, who was driving the vehicle that was stopped admitted assisting an offender in the commission of theft of a moped. She was given a six month jail sentence suspended for two years.

Michael Cranmer Brown, for Elstom, said he had been visiting Skegness when by chance he met a man to whom he owed money.

“It was that person’s idea to commit the robbery. It was something that was proposed to Mr Elstom as a way of paying off the debt and he was told there would be repercussions if he did not get involved.”

Alison Summers, for Buttery, said her client had pleaded guilty to a significantly less serious charge than Elstom and urged he be given credit for his plea.

David Webster, for Agus, said that she was the mother of three daughters and her family was her whole world.