Some of the offenders that bored the Plymouth Magistrates this week

Updated: Jun 20, 2018

These men and women messed up real big. And now they're in big trouble for it.

The person in this picture has nothing to do with the rest of the article. He just looks like a real baddie, doesn't he ?

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A 29-year-old man has been charged following two alleged armed robberies in Plymouth, which were believed to be linked.

Michael Smith, of North Road West, has been charged with two counts of robbery and will appear at Plymouth Magistrates' Court today.

Police were called at 10pm on Monday night with reports of an armed man threatening staff at the Co-op store in Mutley, Plymouth.

It is believed that a suspect attempted to steal a charity box and when challenged, made threats to staff whilst holding a firearm and demanded money from the till before fleeing the area.

One member of staff was allegedly assaulted during the robbery.

On Monday police said a black handled pistol was involved in the robbery - though it’s not clear if it was real or not.

Scenes of crime and an investigative team attended, but initial localised searches were unsuccessful.

A second armed robbery took place at the Spar store on North Hill Tuesday morning at around 3:35am.

Units attended and following localised searches, two arrests were made.

Two local men were arrested on suspicion of robbery, but a 43-year-old has since been released with no further action to be taken.

A man caught with an old revolver and cannabis plants in his home has been jailed for five years.

Neil Roots, aged 46, kept the Colt 38 in a drawer when he was raided by police, a court heard.

He claimed the weapon was an unworkable antique and told a jury it looked like something from a spaghetti western. Pictures show the gun has a rearing horse on its handle.

But he was found guilty of having an unlicensed firearm after a trial earlier this year.

Plasterer Roots had denied possession of a Colt 38 revolver at his Tavistock home on December 31, 2016.

The 1884 Colt that Roots claimed was an unworkable antique (Image: Penny Cross/CPS/Devon and Cornwall Police)

He claimed that he found the gun down the back of a bookshelf – the weapon having been left by a previous tenant.

Roots said he was looking to sell it to a dealer.

Roots had previously pleaded guilty to growing 16 cannabis plants at his five-bedroom house in Greensway Road that same New Year’s Eve.

He was also sentenced for production of a Class B drug – 1.5 kilos found at the same time as the gun. The jury was told that the previous tenant had confirmed he had left the gun in the home when he left in 2011. He has not been charged with any offence.

Tough legislation to control gun crime stipulates a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Judge Paul Darlow jailed him for that period, with no extra penalty for the drugs matter.

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