Two men jailed after four knife-point robberies at shops across Northamptonshire

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A knife was used to threaten staff to steal cash, cigarettes and stamps.

Two men have been jailed after they carried out a series of knife-point robberies at small community shops across Northamptonshire in a week-long shopping spree.

Gary Lee Woods, 36, and James McClafferty, 37, were both convicted at Northampton Crown Court after denying targeting four stores in Desborough, Broughton, Brigstock and Market Harborough in January 2018.

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The pair were found guilty after the court heard how Woods used a knife to threaten staff to steal small amounts of cash, cigarettes and stamps. McClafferty drove the getaway car.

Gary Woods (left) and James McClafferty (right) were both convicted of robbing four shops.Gary Woods (left) and James McClafferty (right) were both convicted of robbing four shops.
Gary Woods (left) and James McClafferty (right) were both convicted of robbing four shops.

Detective Sergeant Carl Darnell, who oversaw the investigation into the crimes, said: “I’m so pleased the jury saw through the lies of Woods and McClafferty and convicted them of these crimes, which netted them less than £1,000 but caused lasting trauma for their victims.

“The investigation into these robberies involved many people across Northamptonshire Police, and I am grateful for all their hard work in gathering the evidence presented in court, which helped to secure the unanimous verdict against these two violent offenders.

“We also owe our thanks to those affected by these crimes, who courageously relived their ordeals in court, and to those who witnessed them, including one man who bravely ran after one of the robbers and was able to get the registration number of their getaway car, providing a vital link that helped us piece the investigation together.”

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Woods, of HMP Woodhill and formerly of Weekley Glebe Road in Kettering, was sentenced to seven years and nine months for four counts of conspiracy to rob. Woods will be serving this sentence consecutively with a sex-and-a-half-year term he is already servicing for another robbery carried out in August 2018.

McClafferty, of Crick Close in Corby, was sentenced to eight years and nine months after he was found guilty of four counts of conspiracy to rob.

Detective Sergeant Darnell added: “Northamptonshire Police takes a zero-tolerance approach to any kind of violent offending, and the sentences handed down to these two men rightly reflect the seriousness of their crimes.”