WATCH: Moment teen pulls BB gun on shopkeeper

Kyle Holder

Kyle Holder - Credit: Suffolk Police

A teenager who threatened a shopkeeper with a BB gun during an attempted robbery has been locked up for 28 months.

Kyle Holder was wearing a black hooded top and had the lower part of his face covered with a scarf when he entered Young’s Convenience Store in Beaconsfield Road, Lowestoft shortly before 10pm on October 10 last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Thursday, May 12.

The 19-year-old asked for cigarettes and vodka and had then pulled a BB gun out of a carrier bag and ordered the shopkeeper to fill it with cash, said prosecutor Emma Nash.

The shopkeeper, who’d been working alone, moved from behind the till to the customer area of the shop and Holder had then gone to the shop door where he pulled out a knife and again demanded money.

Holder left empty handed and was arrested after his fingerprint was found on the carrier bag he’d taken to the store, said Miss Nash.

Holder, of Notley Road, Lowestoft, admitted attempted robbery, possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of a knife in a public place.  

Sentencing him Judge Emma Peters said the incident must have been “utterly terrifying” for the shopkeeper.

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She accepted that Holder had run to the door almost immediately after he pulled out the BB gun and that he had had “more challenges in his life than many young men.”

However, she said the offence was so serious that she had to pass an immediate custodial sentence.

She asked for reports about Holder’s vulnerabilities to accompany him to the young offenders’ institution where he would serve his sentence.

Andrew Thompson for Holder said his client had no previous convictions and described him as “naïve and immature”

He said Holder had had got into debt with a drug dealer and had committed the offences after threats were made to his family. 

He had been given the BB gun by the drug dealer and had taken the knife with him for protection in case anything had gone wrong.

Mr Thompson described Holder as "vulnerable" and said the attempted robbery lacked sophistication.

'Serious error'

Detective Inspector Matt Adams, of East CID, said: “Kyle Holder is a young man who had no previous convictions and I’m sure he will regret his serious error of judgement on that Tuesday evening last August.

“He admitted the offence at a very early stage and earns credit for taking responsibility for his actions. However, despite this he still committed a very serious offence and the end result in the vast majority of cases for perpetrators of these crimes is that they can expect to receive a custodial sentence.

“It is simply not acceptable to threaten people who are just going about their work and making a living. The victim in this case dealt with the situation with remarkable bravery, but we will not tolerate offences such as this and will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice.”