Cousins jailed for total of 18 years after failed robbery

By Court Reporter 13/04 Updated: 13/04 10:18

TWO cousins involved in a violent attempt to rob a cash delivery guard at gunpoint outside a Stratford bank have been jailed for a total of 18 years.

Richard Challenor had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the attempted robbery of victim Darren Widd and possessing an imitation firearm at the time.

His cousin and get-away driver Aaron Collins had denied the attempted robbery charge but changed his plea to guilty on the day of his trial.

Collins, a 33-year-old, of Kingfisher Drive, Chelmsley Wood, who was on licence from an eight-year sentence for armed robbery at a Coventry supermarket at the time, was jailed for ten years.

And Challenor, a 25-year-old, of Grantley Drive, Chelmsley Wood, whose previous convictions were mainly for drugs offences, was jailed for eight years.

Prosecutor Stefan Kolodynski said on November 16 2010 Mr Widd and his colleague Darren Westcott were making a cash delivery to the Santander bank in Wood Street, Stratford.

As Mr Widd was about to carry a cash box into the bank he was distracted, hit from behind and shoved to the floor.

Challenor was on top of him, pointing a revolver and threatening to kill him if he moved, the court heard.

Challenor kept stepping away and then going back to the guard as he lay on the ground, wielding the gun which Mr Widd believed was real and feared he was going to be shot.

But Mr Widd's colleague managed to grab him and drag him inside where the two guards set off an alarm.

The whole incident lasted just four minutes as the robbers fled while a member of the public made a note of its number plate.

There then followed a high speed chase through Henley and Claverdon before the men crashed and fled their vehicle.

Challenor was arrested after he was seen by a security guard at a nearby business park, while Collins was arrested after his DNA was found on the driver’s airbag in the Mazda, said Mr Kolodynski.

Just five months earlier Collins had been freed on licence from an eight-year-sentence for an armed robbery at an Asda store in Coventry, in which a cash delivery driver was threatened with a gun before being robbed of £2,500.

Robin Howatt, for Collins, said he had been angry when he realised a pistol had been produced and over the level of violence used during the incident.

John Butterfield, for Challenor, said he had fallen in with a bad crowd and although he had played a serious role, it was clear he had not been the leading planner.

But Judge Marten Coates didn't accept this and described the attempted robbery as a 'professional and planned enterprise'.

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