Highbury robber jailed after jeweller scarred in 30k raid

A ROBBER who was part of a gang who scarred a jeweller’s face during a �30,000 raid has been jailed for seven years.

Colin Ferguson, 21, of Fieldway Crescent, Highbury, and two other men burst into Lourdes Gold House in Stevenage armed with a hammer and a screwdriver.

Jeweller John Newman, who was on the phone to his wife inside the shop, tried to set off the panic alarm but was ordered back by one of the gang.

CCTV played to Luton Crown Court showed display cabinets being smashed and trays of Indian jewellery, with a retail value of �30,000, put into white plastic bin liners by two of the robbers.

The thug brandishing the hammer forced Mr Newman into a back office and ordered him to open the safe, which contained �400,000 of jewellery.

The robber was shouting: “Open it, open it,” but Mr Newman said he did not have the keys. As he tried to escape he was hit twice with the hammer. He received a wound and scar to his left cheek. The safe remained unopened.

The footage showed the two robbers who were in the front of the shop trying to get out of the shop through its two doors.

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Ferguson was wearing only one glove and left his fingerprints on the door frame as he tried to force his way out.

After kicking at the door they managed to flee, followed by Mr Newman himself, and then the robber with the hammer.

Edward Lewis, prosecuting, said Ferguson was arrested a week later after police matched his fingerprints. None of the jewellery was recovered. Cases against two other men have been dropped. They cannot be named for legal reasons.

Ferguson pleaded guilty to committing the robbery, which took place shortly after 11am on June 17 this year.

He had previous convictions including one in 2007 for robbing an elderly man on an electric scooter after he had left a betting shop with a large amount of winnings.

Defending, Sally Jackson said Ferguson had been the last one in the shop and the first to leave. She said: “He became involved at the insistence of others.” She said he had drugs problems in the past.

Judge John Bevan QC jailed him for seven years, saying: “This was a violent robbery. Mr Newman suffered permanent scarring - both physically and mentally.”