Robbed charity box from local shop

Bishop Street courthouse.
Bishop Street courthouse.

A judge has warned that people who carry out robberies of small local shops should expect lengthy jail sentences.

Judge Philip Babington gave the warning after he jailed 24-year-old James Lee Rush for six years.

Rush, of Cornshell Fields, admitted robbing the Asian Food Shop on Foyle Road of a Children In Crossfire charity box.

He also admitted assaulting two members of staff with a crutch and he further admitted smashing the till with the crutch on December 27, 2017.

Derry Crown Court heard Rush entered the shop and asked one of the male staff members to give him money. When the man refused, Rush hit him on the side of the head with the crutch.

Two other staff members ran to their colleague’s aid and Rush swung the crutch, which he did not need for medical reasons, at all of them.

The court heard Rush reached for the till and pulled the till monitor off its mounting.

He also threw eggs at the three men and onto the shop floor as he shouted at them for money.

He caused around £500 worth of damage to the shop during the incident.

Passing sentence, Judge Babington said: “Courts in this jurisdiction have often made comment that small local shops such as these are very common and that the local community rely on them for many goods and services.

“The court is determined to ensure that the law’s protection is afforded to those who provide these indispensable services to the public of staffing small shops, post offices and other commercial premises.”

Rush will serve half his sentence in custody and the remaining half in the community on licence.