Man jailed for two robberies in 24 hours Date published: 17th January 2018 3.19pm

A MAN has been jailed for six years after committing two robberies in 24 hours in Widnes.

James O’Brien, of Risdale, pleaded guilty to an armed robbery at a convenience store and robbing a woman as she withdrew money from a cash machine the following night.

The 42-year-old entered the Hough Green Convenience Shop on Ditchfield Road brandishing a tyre iron and wearing a light coloured face covering at around 8pm on Sunday 17 December.

O’Brien threatened a store assistant and stole a cash tray containing £98 before fleeing the scene in a car parked nearby.

At 7.30pm the following night O’Brien was standing behind a 55-year-old woman as she withdrew £200 from a cash machine outside the Post Office on Liverpool Road.

He grabbed the money and pushed the woman against shop shutters, told her he had a knife and overpowered her after she tried to stop him from taking it.

O’Brien ran away from the scene before fleeing in the same car.

He was stopped by police as he drove the car along Royal Avenue less than an hour later.

Officers searched the vehicle and found the tyre iron and face covering he used to carry out the convenience store robber. They also found a knife in the car.

O’Brien was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday 17 January.

On top of the custodial sentence he was also banned from driving for 12 months.

Detective Inspector Ian Whiley, from Widnes Local Policing Unit, said: “O’Brien subjected people in Widnes to two terrifying ordeals in the space of 24 hours. He didn’t care about what he was doing or the impact of his actions and clearly believed that he could get away with it.

“He was swiftly arrested and charged in relation to both incidents and O’Brien’s guilty plea and the significant sentence handed to him today means that he will be behind bars for some time.

“I hope that this gives some comfort to his victims, who have been left deeply affected by what happened to them in those 24 hours.

“We take all reports of robbery seriously and officers in Widnes are committed to doing all we can to ensuring that those responsible are traced and punished for their actions.”