Hull man's bid to rob William Hill with 'gun' made of plastic tubes and sticky tape
A ROBBER failed in his bid to rob a bookmaker with a pretend gun after the assistant refused to hand over the cash.
Lee Ollett, 33, used two plastic tubes and tape to create a fake firearm and attempted to rob William Hill in Greenwood Avenue, north Hull.
He stood in the queue before handing a betting slip to assistant Chris Needham, stating: "Hand over all your money and no harm will come to you."
Prosecutor Jane Bryan said: "The assistant looked up to see the defendant had produced a white carrier bag wrapped around two tubes.
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"He believed the defendant was intending to make him think he was in possession of a gun.
"He didn't think it was a gun and told him: 'It's not going to happen'."
The defendant asked Mr Needham 'Why?' and he replied: 'Because it's not'."
Ollett tried to retrieve the betting slip from Mr Needham but failed and fled the store.
Police found the tubes and tape abandoned in Greenwood Avenue and arrested Ollett nearby.
Ollett pleaded guilty to attempted robbery on May 5 at Hull Crown Court.
He was on bail at the time for stealing coffee from Tesco in Newland Avenue, west Hull, a month earlier. A warrant had been issued for his arrest after he failed to attend court for the case.
His barrister John Thackray said: "It is difficult to think of a more inept and unsophisticated attempt to rob."
Mr Thackray described the robbery attempt as "a cry for help" as Ollet was feeding a drug habit and was living a hand-to-mouth existence.
"He is genuinely ashamed and has no recollection of the incident as he had taken Valium," Mr Thackray said.
Recorder Julian Goose QC jailed Ollett, who has 104 previous convictions, for two years and two months.
He said: "You went to your friend's house to ask for some tubing and tape because it was in your mind to tape them together to present them as if it was a genuine firearm.
"You went to the shop to buy a toy gun to make your efforts more realistic.
"Instead, you wrapped the tubes in a white plastic bag and went into William Hill."
The judge praised the bravery of Mr Needham in refusing to hand over the cash.
"The person working there clearly had a great deal of calmness about him but, nevertheless, he saw the bag and thought what was inside was a gun, whether he realised it was a trick or not," he said.
"He had the presence of mind to refuse your demands and you panicked and fled."