Armed robber convicted after £38,000 crime spree, including Gravesend raid

PUBLISHED: 10:22 13 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:22 13 November 2013

An armed robber who tied up and threatened newsagents with a metal baseball bat and stole more than £38,000 during nine Kent raids has been convicted.

Duncton Snape, 41, of Chapel Yard, Wandsworth, was one of two men who went on a 15 month robbing spree, targeting McColl stores in Gravesend, Medway Towns, Longfield, Ashford and Aylesford.

He was found guilty of conspiracy to rob between February 1, 2012 and May 16, 2013 by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday.

A second man, Robert Powsey, 42, of Peacock Rise, in Chatham, had previously pleaded guilty - but claimed his role was limited to planning and support.

The pair carried out early morning raids, dressed in balaclavas and either boiler suits or tracksuits. They threatened staff with baseball bats, pack axes and sledgehammers before tying them up with black cable ties.

Their spree began on February 8 at a Co-op, in Parkwood Green, Gillingham, when they made off with £1,000 cash.

On March 3 this year, they targeted McColl’s, in Leander Drive, in Gravesend, when a lone female worker was tied up and £2,932 was taken.

Both were charged on May 16 after a shop worker spotted Snape and recognised him from a CCTV image circulated.

Det Con Jon Saxby, of Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “The 999 calls told the real story of how the victims reacted to being put through these crimes and tied up against their free will.

“They highlighted the sense of fear these two thugs forced on them when, in the majority of the 10 robberies, they were tied up and threatened with either a baseball bat or a pick axe.

“As a result of what they went through, a number of the victims have suffered mentally, many of them telling me that they now fear going to work.

“These offences were well planned, organised and the offenders, Snape and Powsey, did not show any compassion or remorse for what they have put their victims through, with their sole goal of financial gain.”

A date is yet to be fixed for sentencing.

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