Belfast Telegraph

Pair jailed for violent robbery bid on van

By Ashleigh McDonald

Two men who admitted attempted to steal a delivery of sweets and cigarettes to a store in north Belfast have been handed five-year sentences.

Belfast Crown Court heard the two delivery men were injured in the incident, during which one of the would-be robbers shouted "LVF... give me the keys, give me the cigarettes."

Appearing in the dock of the court were Jason Francis McMillan (23), from St Peter's Place in Belfast, and Andrew Jason Strain (23), from Beechfield Drive in Donaghadee, Co Down. Another man is due to appear in court at a later date.

Both men will spend two-and-a-half years in prison with the remainder spent on supervised licence after release.

Crown prosecutor Rosemary Walsh said the vehicle was targeted as it was parked outside a Costcutters store on the Woodvale Road at around 10.15am on August 8, 2012.

One of the three-man gang shouted "LVF" and demanded the keys and cigarettes be handed over before the driver was attacked and brought to the ground.

An assistant heard the commotion and was also attacked when he went to see what was happening.

Sentencing them, Judge Corinne Philpott said while she accepted there was no weapon used, the gang members were "handy with their fists" and that the delivery driver and his assistant "were simply trying to make a living".

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