TWO armed robbers have been jailed for 10 years for mounting a terrifying raid on a Chinese takeaway.
Balaclava-clad Jack Bowley and Kyle Myatt plundered the Ruby (pictured right), in James Brindley Way, Stretton, after threatening a female cashier with a gun.
Stafford Crown Court heard Bowley, 19, of Norton Road, Burton, smashed the till computer screen with the gun before holding it in Ying Gao’s face.
She froze in terror as Myatt, 20, of Belvedere Road, Burton, nipped behind the counter and grabbed about £500 in cash.
Ms Gao later told police: “I was worried he (Bowley) would shoot me. I could only watch as the small male (Myatt) took the money.”
The raiders escaped in a car driven by Hannah Green, 19, of The Evergreens, Stretton, a friend and one of the takeaway’s ex-employees.
She only later became aware a robbery had taken place but kept some of the stolen cash and lied about it to police.
Paul Farrow, prosecuting, said the robbery happened at about 10pm on March 15 last year and ‘mercifully lasted only about 10 seconds’.
Police later stopped Bowley and Green in her car to search for drugs but Green failed to mention the stolen cash.
All three defendants were eventually arrested on May 4.
Myatt initially denied robbery but then confessed, saying: “It was easy, simply running in and taking it (the money).”
Green denied being a disgruntled former employee and that she knew a robbery was planned, saying she received ‘an abrupt call’ asking her to collect Bowley and Myatt.
Police found cannabis and drug-dealing paraphernalia after searching Bowley’s home and car. His mobile showed he had texted 39 contacts asking if they wanted drugs.
Neither Myatt nor Green had previous convictions while Bowley had only committed minor youth offences.
Steve Hennessey, defending Bowley, said his client knew the gun wasn’t dangerous but recognised the victim was unaware.
Tom Walkling, defending Green, said she was only told about the robbery some time later.
He said: “The assistance she provided was looking after some of the proceeds for a short time and not telling police. She hasn’t prevented these men being brought to justice.”
Bowley was sent to youth custody for six years after admitting robbery, possessing a firearm and possessing drugs with intent to supply.
Myatt was given 52 months youth custody for robbery while Green was given a 12-month community order with 240 hours’ unpaid community work after admitting assisting an offender. She was also told to pay £1,200 costs.
Judge John Wait told the robbers: “You targeted a small, vulnerable take-away, the owners of which cannot afford the level of security big shops can. You committed this offence out of a lust for money, the two of you acting as a team.”
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said the force welcomed the sentences.