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Russell Hadley jailed for robbery of Kent petrol station

A robber found himself on the end of rough justice when he bungled an early morning raid on a motorway service station, a court heard.

Wearing a sleeve of a jumper over his head and armed with a screwdriver, Russell Hadley forced staff to hand over £300.

But while he was filling a bag with cigarettes, garage attendant Jamie Marks nipped out of the front door and locked him in.

The BP garage at Farthing Corner services. Picture: Instant Street View
The BP garage at Farthing Corner services. Picture: Instant Street View

When the heavily convicted drug addict realised his mistake he started kicking the glass door in an attempt to escape.

When that failed, he picked up a fire extinguisher and tried to smash his way out.

He eventually managed to make a hole big enough to crawl through - only to be set upon by other customers outside the BP garage, at Farthing Corner services on the M2 near Gillingham.

They struck Hadley, 32, with traffic cones and whacked him on the head with a pole, leaving him in need of hospital treatment.

Mr Marks was working at the garage at about 5.40am on January 3 last year when Hadley walked in. Another attendant, Lee Pedder, arrived shortly afterwards.

Prosecutor Craig Evans told Maidstone Crown Court Hadley had a scarf over his face to disguise his identity and he was wearing a hoodie.

He was holding a screwdriver about 10in long.

He approached the till and demanded: “Where’s the ------- money?” He went behind the counter and took the cash.

Hadley asked: “Where’s the rest of it?” Mr Marks told him: “There is no more. You are a bit brazen. You chose the wrong time.”

Russell Hadley, picture Kent Police.
Russell Hadley, picture Kent Police.

“The defendant said it was nothing personal against him,” said Mr Evans.

“He turned his attention to the cigarette kiosk.”

Mr Marks told Mr Pedder, who was in the CCTV room, to leave.”

“Mr Marks noticed Mr Hadley was so engrossed with filling his bag with cigarettes, he was also able to leave,” said Mr Evans.

“He locked the defendant in the store. He was unable to make his escape.”

While Hadley was trying to smash his way out with the fire extinguisher a member of the public moved his van in an attempt to block the door.

The robber managed to eventually squeeze through but was quickly detained outside.

“They put cones on his head to keep him on the floor,” said Mr Evans.

“They used various ways to prevent him escaping.”

Judge Adele Williams
Judge Adele Williams

The police arrived and Hadley was arrested. He was taken to hospital where a wound to his head from being hit with the pole was glued.

Hadley, of Palmerston Road, Chatham, was jailed for three years after admitting robbery and criminal damage.

Natasha Lloyd-Owen, defending, said Hadley, a roofer, had drunk half a bottle of rum and decided to raid the garage 30 minutes earlier.

His disguise was the sleeve of a jumper with holes cut in it for his head.

“Not only did he get a cone to his head and a fire extinguisher to the face, he also got a metal pole to the head,” said Miss Lloyd-Owen.

“There is an element of retribution and vigilante justice, but totally understandable.

"He was inebriated at the time. He turned up at the wrong time to get a significant amount of money.”

Miss Lloyd-Owen said the robbery was entirely to do with Hadley’s drug addiction.

When he could no longer afford heroin he drank heavily. His partner left him and he then found out she was pregnant.

His parents kicked him out and he had to be talked out of committing suicide.

Judge Adele Williams told Hadley, who has 30 previous court appearances for 61 offences: “The employees both very sensibly managed to make good their escape, locking you in the premises.

"You can be seen trying desperately trying to get out of the shop.

“Plainly, you have been struggling with addiction to Class A drugs over the years and it is now high time you took advantage of any help that may be available during the inevitable sentence I am imposing and put your life in order so you can start afresh on your release.”

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