Bizarre Betfred bookies robber with history of violence kissed Portsmouth worker’s hand in £4,000 raid

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A BIZARRE robber burst into a bookies then fled after plundering £4,000 from the shop – but not before kissing the cashier on the hand.

Ricky-Lee Garnish, of Charles Street, appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday where he admitted his crime.

The robbery happened at Betfred in Commercial Road

The robbery happened at Betfred in Commercial Road

The burly 34-year-old had burst into the Betfred bookmakers in Commercial Road, in the city centre, on December 1 last year.

He targeted a lone member of staff who was left flustered and terrified after being grabbed with both hands by Garnish, and then grabbed again in a bid to urge him to get the cash.

The robbery ended ‘in fairly unusual fashion by [Garnish] kissing him on the hand,’ prosecutor Martyn Booth said.

After his arrest Garnish, who has five convictions for five offences, told police he only carried out the raid after being chased by Albanian drug dealers over a cocaine debt, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

The prosecutor said: ‘The defence account in interview –  he says that his motivation for doing this was an extensive drug debt to cocaine dealers and they had threatened his mother and child with death and that was his motivating factor for committing this robbery.’

Recorder Barry McElduff said Garnish jumped on the counter then grabbed the victim and told him to put his hands up.

Garnish then told the victim to co-operate, took the money and then grabbed him again, the judge added.

Mr Booth added: ‘He has his hands in his pocket giving and impression [he has] some sort of weapon.’

The court heard how Garnish was previously jailed for three years for grievous bodily harm five years ago.

Howard Barrington-Clark, defending, said: ‘It’s an outrageous offence and one that’s going to attract custody.’

But judge McElduff adjourned sentence for the defence to compile a basis of plea - and for a later hearing to rule on the defendant’s claims in mitigation.

Probation will prepare a pre-sentence report about Garnish ahead of the hearing.