Trio jailed for planning armed robbery

PUBLISHED: 12:06 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

THREE young men have been jailed after police caught them in a car planning an armed robbery. James Koszniak, James Wagstaff and Christopher Tester were stopped on the A1 and found in the car was a baseball bat, a knife and balaclavas with eyeholes. At Lu

THREE young men have been jailed after police caught them in a car planning an armed robbery.

James Koszniak, James Wagstaff and Christopher Tester were stopped on the A1 and found in the car was a baseball bat, a knife and balaclavas with eyeholes.

At Luton Crown Court on Tuesday the three, all from Sandy, appeared for sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to rob.

Tester alone admitted a charge of attempted robbery in a fish and chip shop in Blunham and together with Wagstaff he pleaded guilty to the theft of a car number plate.

Ian Wicks prosecuting told how in September of last year, Tester, 23, and Wagstaff, 20, stole a rear number plate from a Vauxhall Astra that had been parked in a car park in Sandy.

Later that month Tester took part in the attempted robbery at the fish and chip shop in Blunham.

Mr Wicks said that around 8.30pm two men in balaclava masks went into the shop.

One of the men was brandishing a baseball bat and they demanded that the two members of staff hand over cash from the till.

But they hadn't reckoned on the bravery of the workers.

First the pair were told there was no money in the till and a stand off followed.

One male worker in the shop then went to get a stick and the pair fled.

The court then heard how on October 1 last year the three were in a Fiat car bearing false number plates when it was stopped by police travelling southbound on the A1.

Inside the car police found two woolly hats with eye holes, a baseball bat and a knife.

Barrister Beverley Roberts for Wagstaff who is from All Saints Way said the deaths of two of his friends in recent years had led to a "downward spiral" during which he had started drinking heavily.

Andrew Jeffries for Korszniak, 18, of Queens Road said he had been invited to go on a robbery and took a knife with him.

"Thankfully he bottled it, to use his words, and nothing came of it."

Barrister Barbara Lockyer for Tester of South Road said "It was boredom that led him into it. It was the stupidest thing he has ever done in his life."

Passing sentence Judge Michael Kay said all three at some time or other had blamed the other for being led into the offence.

Tester was sentenced to three years and four months in prison. Wagstaff and Tester were each sentenced to two years in a young offenders' institute.


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