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Masked raider who was chased out of Sunderland store by heroic shopkeeper handed six-year sentence
16 May | 14:18

Richard Quarmby, 38, denied attempting to rob the Londis store in Silksworth on the morning of September 27 last year but was found guilty

A masked raider who was chased out of a Sunderland store by a heroic shopkeeper has been jailed.

Richard Quarmby, 38, entered Londis on Lincoln Avenue, Silksworth, on the morning of September 27 last year brandishing a bread knife.

With a black scarf wrapped around his face, the intruder then lunged at the shopkeeper – but did not expect what happened next.

The shopkeeper bravely fought off the attempted robber and then chased him from the store, before contacting police.

A CCTV appeal later led to Quarmby, of Porchester Road, Sunderland, being identified by a member of the public as the likely offender.

Quarmby denied attempted robbery, taking without the owner’s consent and driving while disqualified, but was this week (Tuesday) found guilty of all charges following a two-day trial at Durham Crown Court.

He was sentenced to six years and three months in jail.

Sergeant Paul Knox, of Northumbria Police, said: “Richard Quarmby showed a total disregard for the welfare of others when he entered the shop intent on robbing it for his own selfish gain.

“He identified that store as a potential easy target because he knew the shopkeeper would be alone. However, he got much more than bargained for.

“I would like to commend the incredible bravery shown by the shopkeeper who thwarted his attempts, and I hope this conviction gives him kind of closure after what must have been a traumatic incident.

“Quarmby tried everything possible to conceal his identity and refuted his involvement at every opportunity during this investigation. He refused to cooperate with police in interview and insisted his innocence throughout his trial, claiming he was not the perpetrator.

“He must now live with the consequences of his actions and begins a long stretch behind bars. I’d like to thank the public for their assistance in helping to identify Quarmby, and hope this sentence reiterates that we are committed to tackling this type of crime.”

Prosecutors revealed Quarmby had stayed overnight at the home of friends on September 26 and claimed he was going to carry out the robbery.

The following day, on the morning of the attempted robbery, police tracked the friends’ car from their Ryhope home to a street close to the Londis store, and then back again.

Quarmby was identified as the likely offender following a CCTV appeal, and subsequently arrested by police.

In a statement read out in court, the shopkeeper said: “Since the crime occurred, I have been a lot more concerned and worried about the safety of myself and my members of staff.

“It was very scary. I have been with this store since 1984 and I have made an honest living. To be the victim of a crime of this nature is upsetting and it affects all aspects of my life.”

Quarmby pleaded not guilty to attempted robbery, taking without the owner’s consent and driving while disqualified but was found guilty of all charges following a unanimous verdict.

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