Man who was look-out for robbery is jailed

Keith Stone, of Waveney, Hemel Hempstead, was a look-out for a robbery in Tring.
Keith Stone, of Waveney, Hemel Hempstead, was a look-out for a robbery in Tring.

The look-out for a robbery at a convenience store in Tring has been jailed for five years while the man who carried out the knifepoint raid was told he also faces time behind bars.

Wearing a hoodie and baseball hat, David Payne, 29, went into The Old Stables in Miswell Lane at around 9am on Saturday, June 2 last year.

He grabbed a member of staff around the neck and threatened him with a knife before forcing the man to open the cash dispenser, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Maurice Aston said Payne, of Trafalger Way, Hemel Hempstead, made off with £3,000. He and co-defendant Keith Stone, who was being watched outside by a neighbour, were seen acting suspiciously on CCTV footage.

Payne pleaded guilty to robbery. He had previous convictions including robbery, grievous bodily harm, burglary and having a bladed article.

Stone, 39, of Waveney, Grovehill, Hemel Hempstead, denied being the look-out, but was convicted of robbery by a jury after the neighbour identified him. He had previous convictions for robbery, blackmail, burglary and possession of drugs.

Andrew Kerry, defending Payne, said he had suffered from mental health issues.

For Stone, Adrian Amer said: “He’s determined to keep out of trouble and still maintains his innocence.”

Judge Martin Griffith told Payne he would sentence him to five years but wanted probation to prepare a report on whether he should impose an extended sentence, which would mean he would be supervised for a longer period on his release from prison.

Sentencing Stone he said: “People who run convenience stores have to be protected.”