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Teenagers jailed for raid on Meopham shop

PUBLISHED: 18:00 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:00 19 July 2019

Frankie Whittington and Seamus Dyson. Pictures: Kent Police

Frankie Whittington and Seamus Dyson. Pictures: Kent Police

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A pair of teenagers who carried out two violent and threatening robberies on newsagent shops in one afternoon have been jailed.

Seamus Dyson and Frankie Whittington, both 19, stole a large amount of cash after threatening a Meopham shop worker with a screwdriver in April this year just 90 minutes after a failed robbery at a newsagent in East Sussex.

Both men admitted their roles and were sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on July 12.

The court was told Dyson and Whittington entered a newsagent in Wrotham Road, Meopham, shortly before 4.30pm on April 2 and immediately threatened a member of staff with a screwdriver before ordering him to hand over the money in the till.

After seizing a small quantity of cash, they then ordered the employee to open the safe. Once the money was handed over, they ran away from the scene before driving away in a silver Peugeot 208.

The police said around an hour and a half earlier both offenders attempted to commit a similar robbery at a newsagent in Station Road, Groombridge, however they fled when they heard the shop alarm.

Officers reviewed CCTV from both incidents and it quickly became apparent the same offenders were involved.

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The same clothing was worn on both occasions and the same car was seen travelling to both locations.

Although the offenders covered their faces while committing the offences, privately held CCTV captured both men walking in Wrotham Road with their faces uncovered.

A police officer immediately identified Dyson and he was found in Strood two days later.

When Dyson was arrested, pairs of gloves worn by both offenders were found at the property he was staying. A car key for the Peugeot 208 was also found at the address along with a quantity of cash.

Whittington was found at his home on the same day.

Dyson, of Peall Road, Croydon, pleaded guilty to robbery and attempted robbery. He wasjailed for two and a half years.

Whittington, of Wilson Avenue, Brighton, pleaded guilty to robbery and attempted robbery. He was jailed for three years. In addition to this, he will serve an additional year in custody for unrelated offences committed in Sussex.

After sentencing, Detective Constable Rebecca Ward, Kent Police's investigating officer for the case, said: "These two men have shown they are prepared to use violence against innocent members of the public for their own gain.

"The victims of this case had every reason to fear their lives were in immediate danger and I am pleased that the custodial sentences imposed means they are unable to target other people in a similar way."

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