AN ARMED robber has been jailed for eight years after a judge told him his excuses were ‘almost laughable’.
Anthony Journet denied a late-night robbery at Co-op in Clanfield but a jury took just over an hour to convict him.
CCTV played at the Gulf war veteran’s trial showed him walking into the shop waving the fake gun around threatening staff before going behind the counter and demand a worker open the till.
In less than a minute Journet, who has previously committed four armed robberies, got away from the store in White Dirt Lane, with nearly £200 cash and cigarettes.
The 47-year-old wore a balaclava, hat, gloves and high-vis vest and left no fingerprints or DNA behind at the shop.
But when police turned up at his home on May 29 – 17 days after the raid – they found a spray-painted black imitation gun, adapted boots to make the wearer look smaller, a holdall and gloves.
Your explanation for your possession of all those items was almost laughableJudge Sarah Munro QC
He had claimed he found the toy handgun in his loft and was spraying it to make it look more realistic for the young children he planned to give it to.
Addressing Journet yesterday, judge Sarah Munro QC said: ‘Your explanation for your possession of all those items was almost laughable.’
The judge said Journet had ‘slipped up’ when detectives quizzed him, as he gave them detailed descriptions of what he was wearing on the night of the robbery – a night by his claims which would not have been memorable.
The court heard Journet raided the shop in Clanfield then drove to his home in Botley Drive, Havant, changed clothes and then drove to Boots in Havant to buy painkillers, and then went to Co-op at Point 7 in Leigh Park for cat food.
Journet kept the receipt in a bid to create false alibi for the 9.47pm robbery.
He had even told detectives: ‘My mum used to work at the Co-op and they were good to her so I would not rob a Co-op.’
His red Nissan Micra matched the one seen driving off after the robbery.
Hugh French, defending, said Journet’s actions had been triggered by the 25-year anniversary of the Gulf war – but judge Munro said she failed to see the connection between post-traumatic stress disorder and him robbing shops.
Journet was found guilty of robbery and possession of a firearm with intent following a six-day trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Hamish Walker said the crime had affected the shop staff greatly.
‘This was a serious and premeditated offence with a significant effect on the three young men,’ he said.