Robber who held up shop staff with axe faces jail, court hears

A robber who held up shocked shop staff with an axe has been told to expect a long prison sentence.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:42 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:43 am
CCTV footage released by police after the robberies

Dean Wright’s drug addiction had ‘spiralled out of control’ when he held up Co-op staff in London Road, Purbrook, on July 22 and workers at a sister store in Southleigh Road, Emsworth, on July 31.

On Monday, at Portsmouth Crown Court, the 40-year-old from Havant admitted both robberies, and having a kitchen knife in Emsworth and axe in Purbrook.

Wright, who is being held on remand at HMP Highdown, has an ‘extremely long’ criminal history but had not carried out robberies before this summer. The court heard he was not taking anti-psychotic medication at the time of his crimes.

Adjourning the case for probation and a psychiatrist to compile reports, judge Timothy Mousley QC said: “You must expect a prison sentence of some length of course and in the meantime you will remain in custody.”

At the time Hampshire police said: “The suspect entered the shop in London Road at around 9.30pm on Monday, July 22. He was carrying an axe and stole a quantity of cash before making off, leaving staff shocked but unharmed.”

Wright will be sentenced on January 24. He is being assessed for autism while in jail.