Radio Sandwell Local News

Footprints in snow led to armed robber's hiding place

2013-09-10 23:22:24

Kieron Henry
Keiron Henry targeted the Nine Wines Store on Nineveh
Road in Handsworth in February 2013

A violent thief who pistol-whipped a man as he locked up his Birmingham off-licence has been jailed for 10 years after he was convicted of three robberies.

Keiron Henry targeted the Nine Wines Store on Nineveh Road in Handsworth on February 11 this year, bursting into the shop with an imitation handgun.

But the 26-year-old got more than he bargained for when the brave victim Kochar Rasul tackled him to the ground in the street and hit him over the head with a metal shop sign.

Henry managed to escape after an accomplice, who has not been tracked down, came to his aid and booted the shopkeeper in the back of the head.

Kochar Rasul
Handsworth shopkeeper Kochar Rasul

The pair kicked and punched the businessman as he lay on the ground before running away with what they thought was the shop's takings.

It turned out to be a carrier bag containing orange juice and a packet of cigarettes.

Armed officers were drafted in to try and find the violent thugs and closed in on Henry after footprints in the snow led them to where he was hiding in an alleyway off nearby Nineveh Road.

The Nine Food & Wine shop in Nineveh Road, Handsworth

He was arrested at gunpoint while police dogs followed tracks in the snow and led officers to where he had hidden his imitation handgun.

Henry was later charged with an almost identical robbery three days earlier in Lozells.

Henry and his accomplice had threatened the staff at General Stores on Burbury Street with an imitation firearm and fled with around £90 in cash and a quantity of mobile phone top-up cards.

But the bugling thief lost a trainer when one of the members of staff kicked him in the legs as he made his getaway.

Henry was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.

DC Phil Langstone, who investigated the robberies, said: "The victims in both of these cases were extremely brave, they could not have been sure at the time about whether the gun was real and put their lives at risk to protect their livelihoods.

"Fortunately there were armed police nearby at the time of the robbery on Nineveh Road which led to Henry's swift arrest - and the recent covering of snow provided them with great assistance

"The sentence handed to Henry sends out a strong message about how seriously the courts take offences involving the use of firearms - regardless of whether or not they're real."

DC Langstone added: "There's still a second offender out there and if there is anyone who has any information which could help us bring that person to justice, I am keen to hear from them."

Anyone with informations should contact DC Langstone and his team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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