Ex-manager stole from his own shop in Portsmouth

ROBBER James Eagers
ROBBER James Eagers

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AN ANGRY ex-employee who thought he was owed money by his old boss took matters into his own hands and robbed the shop he used to work at.

James Eagers heard he was going to be sacked from his job as manager at Zoola Fish in Portsmouth’s Cascades shopping centre, so he handed his notice in before he got the push.

But when the 20-year-old was told he wouldn’t get paid for time he had worked because he quit, Eagers lost it.

Furious Eagers stormed into the store, which offers fish pedicures, and demanded to see the boss.

When shop assistant Hannah Currie asked him to leave, Eagers told her: ‘I want my money. Give me my money.’

He grabbed her and shoved her out of the way so that he could get to the till.

As she shouted for help, two members of the public, including an elderly man, rushed into the shop and tried to pull Eagers away from the till.

Desperate to get away he pushed the elderly man into the shop counter so hard that it broke, before running out with £40.

A short while later he phoned Miss Currie and told her: ‘Listen to me, I’m going to slaughter you.’

When police went to his home later that day in November last year they found a small amount of cannabis.

Eagers, of Palmyra Road, Gosport, pleaded guilty to robbery, possessing cannabis and making a threatening phone call.

Nicholas Cotter, defending, said the dad-of-two, who may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), had made a ‘stupid mistake’.

‘He may indeed have ADHD and that may explain some of the behaviour,’ Mr Cotter said.

‘He has problems confronting the difficulties in his life.

‘He reacts poorly when he is criticised or when things aren’t going right.

‘He tried to do the best he could and perhaps wasn’t equipped to be a manager in this store.

‘Instead of going through the proper channels he made a profoundly stupid mistake.’

Jailing him for 15 months at Portsmouth Crown Court Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘You are a man with previous convictions, including previous convictions for violence.

‘On the day in question you used violence against a vulnerable victim.

‘You then went on to steal from the till.

‘An aggravating feature is that when two members of the public tried to intervene you also used force against them.

‘It must have been a very frightening experience for all involved, not least the female shop worker.

‘It didn’t end there because you then made a threatening phone call. That must have been very frightening because she knew that you were well aware of her full details and her address.’