When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Michael Birch robbed betting shop armed with hammer
THIS is the dramatic moment a violent robber threatened a cashier in a betting shop with a hammer.
But less than 24 hours after the raid the addicted gambler flagged down a police car to confess.
Michael Birch, 30, had earlier burst into a bookmakers before it was about to close for the night and while a member of staff was removing money from one of the gaming machines.
With his hood up, his face masked by a balaclava and waving a hammer in his gloved hands, he demanded money from the safe and warned against pressing any emergency buttons. He then fled with £1,637 in cash.
But Southampton Crown Court heard that the next day, Birch flagged down a police car on Bursledon Road, Southampton, telling police officers he wanted to confess to robbing Ladbrokes in Victoria Road, Woolston, on August 2.
Prosecutor Roderick Blain said: “He said it was because of his gambling and said where the hammer and clothing could be found.”
Birch, of Rotterdam Towers, in Weston, Southampton, pleaded guilty to the robbery at the first opportunity.
Ximena Jones, defending, said her client had developed a bad gambling problem after splitting up with his partner of 16 years.
After pawning all his belongings he had resorted to carrying out the robbery.
She said he was sorry about the effect it had on the member of staff he held up.
Judge Peter Henry said: “This is a serious offence without question, breaking into a premises, arming yourself and threatening someone and terrifying them, forcing them to hand over the money.”
But he said that because Birch handed himself in and admitted fully to the offence he avoided a four-year prison sentence and instead received three years.
Comments are closed on this article.