Belfast Telegraph

Man jailed for robbing his own hairdressers just two weeks after visiting the salon

A man who robbed his own hairdressers at knifepoint just two weeks after visiting the salon has been jailed for six years.

The robbery came only six months after he was part of a three-man gang who robbed a shop.

Jailed alongside 29-year-old Stephen Brown at Belfast Crown Court for their part in the robbery of a Co-Op store were Jonathan Briers (31) who received a five year sentence and 36-year-old Robert Black who was jailed for three and a half years.

The court had earlier heard that while Black remained outside the Ballysillan Road shop acting as "look-out" Brown and Briers, with their faces covered and carrying 10 inch knives, went into the shop and demanded "give me the f****** money".

Prosecuting lawyer David McClean said staff handed over cash from the till but one of the men "screamed" at the duty manager to open the cash drop box "or I'll cut your f****** throat," a threat they repeated to a customer who had challenged them as they left.

The trio were arrested within hours of the incident however when police received information about their whereabouts and when they raided the property, uncovered the cash and a knife hidden in clothing belonging to Briers.

The lawyer told the court of further incidents involving Brown six months later on July 7 last year when, again masked and carrying a large knife, he robbed £120 from Silk Hair Design on the Ballyclare Road in Glengormley, tried to rob the Mace store on the Glebe Road and also stole a lottery scratchcard from there.

Mr McClean said that in relation to the hair salon, despite the fact that his face was covered, staff recognised Brown as he was a regular customer and had had his hair cut there two weeks beforehand.

One of the hairdressers told him he would be caught and that "we know who you are" but he replied "it's not me" and made off with the cash.

Later that day he tried to rob the Mace shop but the female assistant there pressed the panic button and after snatching a scratchcard, ran off but was arrested after hairdressing staff identified him from the customer book and also when his palm print was found on the door of the Mace.

While Briers, from the Cherryhill Road in Dundonald and Black, from Lendrick Street in Belfast pleaded guilty to a single count of robbery Brown, from Susan Street, also in Belfast, pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery, one attempted robbery and a further charge of theft.

In jailing the trio, Judge Gordon Kerr QC ordered Brown and Black to serve half their sentences in custody and half on supervised licence while Briers was ordered to spend two years in jail and three on licence.

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