Man jailed for Hampshire shop robberies

A Portsmouth man has been handed a 10 year sentence for his involvement in two robberies which took place in Hilsea and Portchester earlier this year.

Matthew Hall, aged 33 years, of London Road, Hilsea, was sentenced to an 8 year prison sentence with a two year extended licence period when he appeared at Winchester Crown Court on the afternoon of September 23.

The court heard how on 8 June this year, Hall entered a BP Garage on West Street in Portchester with another man and threatened staff members. The two men fled the scene with approximately £97 in cash and £74 worth of tobacco.

In the second incident, Hall entered a Co-Op store on Northern Parade in Hilsea on 14 June and stole £800 in cash and a closed till after staff members had been threatened. No-one was injured in either incident.

Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery at a previous hearing.

A second man, arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods in connection with the robbery on 8 June, remains under investigation.

The judge, Recorder Michael Bowes QC, branded Hall a dangerous offender whose ‘impulsive and reckless behaviour’ posed a serious risk to the public. Recorder Bowes imposed an extended license period on the basis of Hall’s dangerousness.

Investigating officer DC Hollie Shelton said: “Whilst no-one was physically injured, Hall’s crimes had a significant impact on those who were subjected to such terrifying ordeals. I hope this sentence goes some way to helping them move on from these distressing incidents.

“I also hope this sentence sends a clear message to anyone considering committing this type of violent crime. It will not be tolerated and we will always carry out a thorough investigation to catch those responsible and ensure they are brought to justice.”