Robbers chased up tram line are jailed for spree of shop attacks
TWO robbers who abandoned a stolen car on the tram tracks during a police chase have been jailed.
Lee Watson and Dominic Wright used knives, a crow bar and a hammer in a spree of shop raids across Notts and Derbyshire last summer.
But their campaign ended when they were chased down by police after stealing the car.
As they tried to get away, they left it on the tracks in Basford and ran off, but were arrested soon afterwards.
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Both were found guiltyof five counts of robbery after an eight-day trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
Watson was also found guilty of taking the car.
Detective Sergeant Steve Wragg, who investigated the crimes, said: "The last thing shop workers should expect in their jobs, serving members of the public, is the fear of violence or to be involved in a frightening robbery.
"Some of the staff have as yet been unable to return to work because of the trauma they faced.
"They absolutely did not deserve to be put in this danger."
Watson, 26, of no fixed address, and Wright, 23, of Vale Crescent South, Radford, first robbed Alldays in Langley Mill, Derbyshire, on Tuesday, June 26,
The nest day they robbed the One Stop Shop, Bell Lane, Cinderhill, armed with a knife and a crow bar, which they used to remove two tills from the shop before running off with them.
On the morning of Saturday, June 30, they robbed Morrisons petrol station in Kelham Way, Eastwood, at knifepoint.
Watson jumped on to the counter and threatened workers before the pair fled with money from the safe.
They struck again on Saturday, July 9, at the Texaco Petrol Station in Heanor.
On the following Thursday, July 12, they raided Booze Busters in Nabbs Lane, Hucknall, at 9pm, armed with a hammer.
The next day Watson took a Toyota Avensis from an address in Wood Street, Eastwood, at 7.52am.
Police spotted it at 2pm and gave chase. Watson and Wright drove along the tram tracks in David Lane, Basford.
They abandoned the car on the line, causing tram delays for about two hours.
Police compared the clothes worn during the robberies to those owned by Wright and Watson.
DS Wragg said: "They wore masks and gloves for these offences so there were no fingerprints or DNA left at the scene.
"We used a great deal of forensic work – notably analysing clothing and footwear as well as extensive phone analysis to place them at the crime scenes.
"It was a long process and we had in excess of 30 items for forensic testing but ultimately that work paid off."
Wright was jailed for seven years for robbery. Watson was jailed for eight years for robbery.
He was also handed an extra two month sentence, to run consecutively, after being held in contempt of court for spitting from the dock during the case.