Locals thwart Louth jewellery shop robbery

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Passers-by confront robbers in Lincolnshire store attack.

By Kate Doherty

Local townspeople in Louth intervened when who robbers brandishing claw hammers and a knife raided Eastgate Jewellers watch and jewellery shop on June 24. Two men from Grimsby have now been sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court.

Damion Clark, 30, who had served previous jail sentences and committed other offences was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years – six years imprisonment with three and half years’ extended licence. Christopher London, 25, who also pleaded guilty and asked for 12 other offences to be taken into consideration, was jailed for four years.

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The pair raided Eastgate Jewellers in Louth, which stocks jewellery by Daniel Voir and watch brands including Maurice Lacroix and Blancpain, on June 24, wearing motorbike helmets and brandishing claw hammers and a knife. However, their efforts were in vain thanks to the actions of a few local townspeople.

Shop owner Julie Smith pressed an alarm, which locked them all in the shop and when the robbers started smashing up cabinets, two passers-by came to help, standing guard outside the doors. Smith ran to her flat upstairs but the raiders chased her and dragged her back down before forcing her to unlock the doors.

However, as the would-be robbers made their escape, they discovered that passers by had taken the keys to their motorbike and knocked it over.

Robber, Clark, then fled to a car park where he attempted to drag Eric Chapman, a retired businessman, out of his car. When Chapman refused, Clark stabbed him in the eyebrow but Chapman resisted and Clark was soon detained by other members of the public. Judge Sean Morris described Mr Chapman as "made of stern stuff".

The second robber, London, fled towards Kidgate Primary Academy school where he was confronted by deputy head teacher Paul Lidbury. He ecaped and was later arrested in a back garden.

Prosecutor Jon Straw said: "This is a very remarkable example of people power. The people of the town banded together and the motorbike they intended to use for their escape was pushed over by a passer-by and the keys taken. They were left high and dry and had to flee on foot."

Officer in the case, DC Becky Manson, said: "This was a violent crime, carried out with audacity in the middle of the day, in a small market town. However, London and Clark did not reckon on public spirit and were thwarted by the community, with a number of members of the public playing pivotal roles in helping police apprehend the pair. As a result, two dangerous offenders are now off the streets." 

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