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Wayne Cannon jailed for armed robbery of shops in Margate and Westgate

A homeless drug addict who robbed a chip shop and a pharmacy at knifepoint in Thanet has been locked up for six years.

Wayne Cannon raided the takeaway armed with a knife and made off with almost £500 from the till, despite staff previously showing him generosity and kindness.

The 48-year-old had earlier taken staff up on their offer of free food because he was homeless, but that did not stop him for arming himself with the knife and trying to disguise his face with a scarf.

Wayne Cannon
Wayne Cannon

Cannon, who has 35 previous convictions for 80 offences, walked into the fast-food outlet in The Parade, Margate on May 8, and holding the knife, told two female staff members who were in the shop alone, to open the till.

The pair fled the shop as Cannon, of no fixed address, leaned over the counter to help himself to £460 out of the till.

They fled to a nearby pub where they raised the alarm.

However, when staff and regulars came to their aid, Cannon had already fled the scene.

Just days later on May 13, he went into the Boots store in St Mildred's Road Westgate, again with is face covered with a scarf and armed with the knife.

There he demanded staff hand over not only cash from the till, but also prescription drugs including Diazepam and other medication.

Staff at the pharmacy recognised Cannon and despite feeing the scene with some cash and the prescription drugs, he was arrested by police the next day.

"I have concerns about the risk you pose, undoubtedly, these can only be met with a prison sentence" - Judge Simon James

During interview Cannon initially told officers he could not have carried out the chip shop robbery because he was staying in Bristol at the time and he simply denied committing the robbery at the Boots store.

He was later charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of possession of a bladed article and was remanded in custody by magistrates in Medway on May 16.

However, when he appeared before Canterbury Crown Court via video-link from Elmley Prison, he admitted all the charges against him.

Kieran Brand prosecuting, told Judge Simon James, Cannon has gone into the chip shop at about 10.40pm on May 8 and made off with £460 and then just five days later had entered the Boots store.

He said: "The pharmacy staff recognised him as he had attended the shop on a number of occasions.

"He demanded access to the till and medication and took £70."

However, Cannon, who has been a drug addict for most of his adult life, was well known to the staff at the Boots and they told police who he was and he was picked up by officers the next day in Margate.

Canterbury Crown Court (12513719)
Canterbury Crown Court (12513719)

Judge James also heard many of his Cannon's previous convictions involved dishonesty and he had been convicted of numerous burglaries, thefts, shoplifting offences and had also been convicted of handling stolen goods and had committed a robbery in 1988.

In 2009 he had been given a four year jail sentence for carrying out a burglary but the court heard he had not been in custody since 2014.

James Howard defending, said his client was remorseful about the incidents.

Mr Howard added: "He is a drug user of some long standing and during his criminal career, almost all of his offending has some association with drug use.

"He was homeless and had fallen back into drug use and these robberies were motivated by addiction."

When sentencing him to six years for all the offences, Judge James told Cannon he posed a risk to the public.

He added: "I have concerns about the risk you pose, undoubtedly, these can only be met with a prison sentence."

Speaking afterwards, detective sergeant Jay Robinson said: "Luckily Cannon's victims were not physically harmed but violent robberies like this can have a considerable impact on people's emotions.

"No one should feel unsafe because of a small minority of criminals like him.

"Residents and businesses should rest assured that we will continue to work hard, and in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, to detect and disrupt those believed to be carrying weapons and ensure anyone breaking the law is put before the courts."

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

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