Court

A man who robbed a shop just minutes after trying to hold-up a pedestrian has been jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.

Daniel Nichols, 30, of Friars Lane, Lincoln, walked into the Deli shop on Newland in Lincoln and went straight behind the counter.

Katrina Wilson, prosecuting, said that the shop worker, who had been preparing an order in a back room, emerged to find Nichols with his hand in the till.

“She was shocked. She asked what he was doing and he said that he was taking some money.

“She tried to get him out of the shop but the defendant told to get off him or he would stab her. He took between £10 and £15 from the till and he walked out.”

Miss Wilson said that just 10 minutes earlier Nichols walked up to a pedestrian further along Newland and threatened him saying “I’ve got a knife. Give me your money or I’m going to stab you.”

The victim told Nichols to go away and then ran off. Moments later he looked back to see that Nichols had made no attempt to follow him.

Miss Wilson told the court that although Nichols told both victims that he had a knife no weapon was seen.

The two victims each called police and later in the day officers were driving along St Rumbold Street when they spotted a man fitting the description of the robber.

Miss Wilson said: “He was arrested and taken to the police station.

“He denied the incident involving the pedestrian but admitted taking money from the till of the deli but said he made no threats to the shop worker.

“He told the officers he was a heroin addict and had stolen the money to feed his habit.”

The court was told that Nichols had 28 previous convictions for shoplifting and others for burglary but no previous offences of robbery on his record.

Nichols admitted charges of attempted robbery and robbery arising out of the incidents on the morning of December 10, 2020. He was jailed for 22 months.

Mark Watson, in mitigation, said that the offences happened a few days after Nichols was released from an earlier jail sentence and has now been recalled to prison to complete that sentence.

“He doesn’t recall these offences. What is clear is that these were acts of desperation.”

A Skegness man accused of murder over the Christmas period is to stand trial in front of a jury in later this year.

Scott Rowen, 28, of Glentworth Crescent, Skegness, is accused of the murder of Jordan Siree, 26, who died following an incident on December 22.

No charge was put to Rowen when he appeared via video link for a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court on Thursday.

Judge John Pini QC adjourned the case for a further hearing on February 22 and set a trial date for August 16 this year.

Rowen, who spoke only to confirm his name, was remanded in custody.

A police cordon was put in place at the rear of the County Hotel in Skegness.

He was charged with murder on December 24 after police found Siree injured at his home on Glentworth Crescent.

Mr Siree was found with serious injuries after police attended a property in Glentworth Crescent, Skegness.

He was taken to hospital but died in the early hours of the following day.

A drug dealer was brought to justice after being caught up in a murder investigation in Lincolnshire.

Reece Keeley, 28, was arrested in April 2019 by police officers investigating the murder of Gainsborough man Jordan O’Brien.

Keeley, who was discovered to have been close to the scene of the murder on Scampton Way in the town, was initially spoken to by police as a witness but as the inquiry continued, he was arrested for murder.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that subsequent investigations showed that Keeley had been in the street for reasons totally unconnected with the murder and he was released without charge.

But officers had seized his mobile phone which was found to contain thousands of messages many of which showed he was involved in drug dealing.

In November 2019, Kieran Walker from Doncaster was jailed for a minimum of 28 years for carrying out the brutal machete murder of O’Brien — also an argument over drug debts.

Mr Scott said: “This case is founded on the phone evidence. The defendant was dealing in four types of drugs.

“He appears to have had a customer based in excess of 50 people. There is some evidence that he has involved others in the supply of drugs.”

Mr Scott told the court that Keeley was originally arrested as part of the investigation into Mr O’Brien’s murder.

“At the time of the murder the defendant was identified as a person of interest. He had been attending at the address shortly before the murder. He was initially treated as a witness but he then became a suspect.

“He was later de-arrested after the investigation showed that his presence on Scampton Way was purely coincidental.”

Reece Keeley, 28, who gave an address as c/o Fillingham Close, Gainsborough, admitted charges of supplying cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamine and cannabis between October 2018 and April 10, 2019. He was jailed for three years.

Michael Cranmer-Brown, in mitigation, said that Keeley began using cocaine after becoming depressed following the break-up of a relationship.

“He got heavily into an addiction and he was using far more than he could possibly afford. He got heavily into debt and the drug dealers put pressure on him.”

He said that Keeley began selling drugs as a way of paying off his debts to dealers but was not able to clear the amount he owed despite being given money by his mother.

Mr Cranmer-Brown said: “He continued until that fateful day when he found himself caught up in a murder investigation. It was an almighty shock to him to find himself being interviewed in an investigation into murder.”

He told the court that since his arrest Keeley has given up drugs and has been trying to find work.

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