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Two-year jail term for man who raided bookies is a ‘disgrace’
9:30am Saturday 18th August 2012 in Worcester
AN armed robber who raided two bookmakers in Worcester has been sentenced to only two years in prison, which has disgusted one of his victims.
Paul Donovan, aged 35, of George Street, Worcester, threatened staff with what they believed was a handgun and made off with £835 in the “distressing” raids within days of each other at two city betting shops.
Donovan was sentenced at Hereford Crown Court, on Thursday by judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins after admitting both robberies.
He was sentenced to two years for each but will serve them concurrently.
The first raid took place at Backhouse Bet in Angel Street, Worcester, at 5.20pm on Monday, March 26 and the second at Ladbrokes in Derwent Close, Brickfields, Worcester at about 3.50pm on Tuesday, April 3.
Ladbrokes cashier David Burt was not present at the time of the raid but knows the victim, who no longer works there, and spoke to her yesterday.
He said: “Two years is no deterrent at all. He will probably be out in six months for good behaviour. If he gets desperate what’s going to happen? The woman who was in when the robbery happened has told me the sentence is an absolute disgrace. She was quite disgusted by it.”
Donovan was described by police as “calm and controlled” during the robberies, which were captured on CCTV.
Detective Constable Kirsty Hickling said: “These robberies had an impact on the communities around Angel Street and Warndon, not least among local bookmakers, who were on alert in case any further offences occurred.
“Armed robbery is a very serious crime because of the impact it has on its victims. Donovan claimed that he used a BB gun, but we still don’t know exactly what weapon he threatened the bookmakers with because it has never been recovered.
“What is important is that the cashiers he robbed thought the gun was real and they were distressed by their experience.”
During the first robbery he walked in to the shop with what appeared to be a real gun and placed the weapon down on the counter before picking it up again and pointing it a cashier.
Donovan, who was wearing a baseball cap, then walked out of the doors with the cash and made his way along Angel Street towards the junction with Foregate Street.
During the second raid he ran off towards the junction of Furness Close and Brickfields Road.