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A man who held up a Newham off-licence in order to get a pack of cigarettes and alcohol has been jailed for four years at Inner London Crown Court today (Monday 7 October).
A look-out who stood guard was jailed for two and a half years for possession of an imitation firearm.
Giedrius Skliaudys, 30 (01.07.83), a mechanic of Lansdown Road, London, E7 went into Lucky Food and Wine in Plashet Grove, E6 at around 23.00hrs on Sunday, 31 March this year.
Skliaudys asked two shop assistants for wine but was turned away as he could not pay for it.
Minutes later, Skliaudys returned and attempted to leave with two bottles of beer. One of the shop assistants tried to stop Skliaudys by holding him. Skliaudys made to hit the assistant with the bottles and the assistant defended himself with a cricket bat he had been passed by a colleague, but he was struck on the back of the head by an unknown male. The assistant fell to the floor, suffering cuts and bruises in the process, and Skliaudys ran off.
He then returned at around 00.20hrs with what appeared to be a handgun and for around 25 minutes he tormented three shop assistants by pointing the weapon at them and shouting: “I can kill anyone. I will only do five years.”
Petrified, the shop assistants gave in to Skliaudys’ demands for a bottle of brandy and a packet of cigarettes which he then left the shop with.
Outside, he was joined by Nerijus Rutkahskas, 28 (17.03.85), a labourer of Lansdown Road, London, E7 who had been caught on CCTV pacing up and down outside the shop, acting as a look-out.
Rutkahskas’ behaviour had raised the suspicions of a nearby mini-cab driver, who followed the pair as they made off along Katherine Road. The cab driver called 999 and gave a running commentary as he followed the pair until firearms officers arrived and detained the men.
The alcohol, cigarettes and an air pistol loaded with two pellets were recovered from the ground nearby. The men were arrested and taken to Forest Gate Police Station.
Skliaudys was charged with robbery, possession of an imitation firearm at the time of committing an offence and theft, to which he pleaded guilty. Today he was sentenced to four years imprisonment for robbery, two years imprisonment for possession of an imitation firearm – to run concurrently – and one month for theft, also to run concurrently. Total = four years imprisonment.
Rutkahskas pleaded not guilty to possession of an imitation firearm while committing an offence, common assault and robbery. He was found guilty of possession of an imitation firearm at Inner Crown Court on 16 September 2013, for which he was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment today. He was found not guilty of common assault and robbery.
Investigating officer Detective Constable David Spraggett, of the MPS Flying Squad, said: “Skliaudys terrified three men over the course of two hours for low-value items. He was bent on the power of brandishing what appeared to be a genuine handgun, instilling fear in these men who were frightened for their lives.
“I thank the cab driver who followed these men, keeping our central control command informed on their whereabouts. He helped officers quickly locate and detain the men, who may have gone on to threaten others.”
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