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Friday, March 7, 2014
A man tried to rob a bookies with a sawn off shotgun hidden in an umbrella, a court heard yesterday.
Derek Rossi, 58, of Lennox Road, Finsbury Park, admitted the attempted robbery at Ladbrokes bookmakers in Holborn last year, as well as pleading guilty to possessing ammunition.
Shortly after 8am on November 4, Rossi burst into the shop wearing a balaclava and threatened a member of staff behind the counter with the firearm.
Fearing for her life she ran into the back office for to seek refuge, leaving one other member of staff on the shop floor.
But, terrified that her colleague on the shop floor might be hurt, the worker headed Rossi’s demands to open the door and he entered the staff area, demanding she handed over the money in the tills and safe.
She explained that she didn’t have the access key and Rossi left the bookmakers – taking off his balaclava in the process and fleeing on a bit parked around the corner.
In the meantime the other member of staff had fled the shop and called the police.
As Rossi made off, he dropped the shotgun twice and it discharged into the road. He also dropped the umbrella and black cable ties at the scene, which were later recovered by police.
Detectives from the Flying Squad identified Rossi on the CCTV at the bookmakers and arrested him later that day.
A search at his home address revealed the sawn off shot gun loaded with two cartridges, a further 10 shotgun cartridges, eleven rounds of 9mm ammunition, black cable ties identical to the ones dropped at the scene earlier that day, a face mask, gloves and a black balaclava.
Detective Inspector Scott Hartley of the Flying Squad said: “This was a terrifying attack committed in broad daylight and Rossi gave no thought to his terrified victims and what he put them through. They have been left traumatised by the event of having a shotgun pointed at them and they both feared for their lives.
“Rossi showed an utter disregard for the victims and I can only but praise them for coming forward and assisting us with our investigation to ensure that a he is put behind bars.”
He will be sentenced on March 21 at Blackfriars Crown Court.