'Bold as brass' raider stole cash from till at Coral bookmakers in South Shields

A ‘bold as brass’ raider who walked into a bookies and helped himself to £200 cash has been spared jail.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 19 July, 2019, 15:53
Ryan Heslop.

Ryan Heslop took a cap from a customer’s head then entered into a staff-only area and picked up a handbag to fill with money at the Coral betting shop at Horsley Hill in South Shields in April.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 24-year-old, who was high on drugs, had not told the pals who were waiting outside for him what he was about to do and they were "astounded" when they realised.

Prosecutor Alec Burns told the court: "One went in to get him, took the bag off his shoulder, put it down and dragged him outside."

Heslop, of Cheviot Road, South Shields, was arrested nearby, but was in such a state police had to take him straight to hospital.

He later pleaded guilty to burglary.

Judge Julie Clemitson said the raid was "staggeringly inept" and told Heslop: "You, as bold as brass, walked into the bookmakers, taking a cap off a customer's head as you did. You walked behind the counter, ignored a member of staff who challenged you and picked up a handbag.

"You then calmly set about counting coins from the till, went to another drawer and took handfulls of money before walking, calmly, off.

"Clearly you were intoxicated, you were under the influence of some substance or other, that was perfectly obvious."

The judge said Heslop made no real attempt to conceal his identity and was even known by a member of staff.

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Judge Clemitson told him: "There is no prospect at all of you ever getting away with this. You were apprehended very shortly afterwards."

Heslop was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with drug rehabilitation requirements and a four month nighttime curfew.

The judge said reports indicate Heslop may now be prepared to "break the cycle" and combat his drugs problem to prevent further offending.

Jane Foley, defending, said Heslop was "unbelievable stupid" and that his friends were "utterly astounded" when they realised what he was doing.

Miss Foley said bodycam footage captured the moments Heslop was detained and added: "When officers go to arrest him one can see quite clearly the effects that drugs have had upon him.

"He doesn't know who he is, where he is, why he's getting arrested.

"He is told he is going to hospital, such was their concern.

"He had fallen over and injured himself, he truly was in a bad way."