Man who tried to rob shop with imitation gun is jailed
PUBLISHED: 14:58 14 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 14 February 2019
A brave shopkeeper has been praised for "swatting away" what he believed to be a loaded gun from a man who tried to rob the store of cash.
Scott Cotier marched into the Kwik Serve Convenience Store in Clacton High Street and pulled out an imitation firearm, demanding that the owner hand over the contents of the till.
But the shopkeeper, aged in his 60s, who was working alone when the incident happened on Monday, January 7, refused - forcing 22-year-old Cotier, of no fixed address, to scarper on foot.
Having been identified on the shop’s CCTV as he picked up a can of tropical energy drink in store and went to pay for it, Cotier was arrested the next day.
Cotier’s fingerprints had also been lifted from the scene of the crime.
He has now been jailed for more than four years after pleading guilty to attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Speaking following yesterday’s sentencing, investigating officer Pc Steven Baldwin, from Clacton CID, praised the shopkeeper for his bravery.
He added that he hoped the sentencing would bring a sense of closure for the shopkeeper after the traumatic experience.
He said: “I am glad that, by pleading guilty, Cotier has taken some responsibility for his abhorrent actions.
“The victim showed immense bravery in swatting away what he believed was a loaded gun, and refused to hand over anything from the till.
“More importantly, he managed to get himself to safety before he called the police.
“I hope that this sentence will bring some closure for the victim, who has continued to live with a fear of violence since the incident.
“No-one should feel unsafe in their workplace, and today’s sentence proves that.”
Cotier was jailed for four and a half years for attempted robbery and was handed a two-year sentence for the firearms offence.
The sentences will run concurrently.