Drug addict from Newtown jailed for off-licence robbery

Reporter:

Staff reporter (County Times)

A convicted drug dealer and recovering heroin addict who robbed an Oswestry shopkeeper of cash and cigarettes has been jailed.

Carl Cowans carried out the raid at the Boozed-Up store in Salop Road, in November, last year.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court, the 35-year-old was jailed for 21 months for the robbery after he was convicted by a jury after a three-day trial.

Cowans, of Garth Owen, Newtown, had also faced an allegation of being in possession of a kitchen knife at the time of the robbery, but was cleared by the jury.

The court had heard that £445 in cash and a packet of Lambert & Butler cigarettes were stolen from the off-licence. M

inutes later Cowans went to a flat in Chaucer Road where police were already in attendance and was said to be soaking wet from the rain and out of breath. 

He was searched and officers recovered the cash from his wallet tucked into his waist band and the packet of cigarettes.

In a statement, shop owner Harkamal Dhillon, who had later identified Cowans as the raider, said the incident had made him more suspicious of people and he was scared to work alone in the shop in the evening and there were now two people in the off-licence at night.

During the trial Cowans had claimed Mr Dhillon had been confused when he identified him and it was a case of mistaken identity and he had only been to the off-licence on one previous occasion.

The court had heard that Cowans had previous convictions for dishonesty, violence and supplying drugs.

Debra White, for Cowans, said her client had already spent almost half a year in custody on remand since his arrest for the robbery - equal to a 12-month sentence.

 

She said Cowans had mental health issues and was a recovering addict and had been able to complete the licence period on a previous conviction which was the first time that he had done so in 20 years.

See full story in the County Times

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