October 24th, 2016

Robber and arsonist facing lengthy jail sentence

Robber and arsonist facing lengthy jail sentence Robber and arsonist facing lengthy jail sentence

A ROBBER and arsonist who held up staff at two petrol stations and a food outlet at knifepoint was finally arrested after setting fire to cars on a Warwick housing estate.

And a judge at Warwick Crown Court agreed Tom Weedon should have a report prepared on him by a psychiatrist as well as a pre-sentence report before he is sentenced.

The 21 year-old of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two charges of arson with intent to damage property and being reckless whether lives were endangered.

In one arson attack in the early hours of April 2 he set fire to a Saab 93 car and a Peugeot van parked outside a house in Yeats Drive on the Chase Meadow estate.

One of the vehicles was on the road and the other on the drive of a house, to which it was feared the fire would spread, and Weedon accepted he was reckless whether the lives of the occupants would be put at risk.

In a second arson attack on the same day, Weedon set fire to a Vauxhall Zafira in Leamington, again being reckless whether the life of another person would be endangered.

On a separate indictment Weedon also pleaded guilty to two charges of robbery, three of possessing a bladed article, a serrated kitchen knife, in public, and one of theft.

The court heard that on November 2 last year Weedon held up a cashier at the BP petrol station on Coventry Road in Warwick, at knifepoint and robbed him of £320 in cash.

On December 5 he stolen a Yamaha motorbike, and nine days later he tried to rob a member of staff at the Subway branch on the Shires Retail Park in Leamington, again at knifepoint.

Having fled empty-handed from there, Weedon went on to brandish the knife to rob a cashier at the BP garage on Stratford Road in Warwick, of £450.

After he had entered his pleas, Paul O’Keefe, defending, asked for the case to be adjourned for psychiatric and pre-sentence report.

Agreeing to that, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano remarked: “Clearly he can’t be sentenced without a psychiatric report being prepared.”

Remanding Weedon in custody, she told him: “ You should be under no illusions. The sentence is likely to be a substantial sentence of custody.”