Man jailed for robbery bid with fake gun

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A chronic alcoholic who, while drunk, tried to rob a petrol station with a fake gun, was jailed on Tuesday for 18 months.

At Downpatrick Crown Court a judge told Lisburn man Simon Frederick Thomas Larmour: “You need to stop drinking, full-stop, otherwise you will end up with longer custodial sentences.”

Larmour (27) of Rathvarna Drive, admitted possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit robbery.

The prosecution said staff at the Maxol station in Ballyholme on the evening of June 27, 2014 noticed a male, wearing a hooded top ,entering the premises. It was said Larmour approached the counter and asked an assistant: “Any money in the till?” He was told there was none.

After appearing to reach for something in his belt, Larmour said: “Are you sure about that?” The assistant again told him the till was empty and believed Larmour was “showing him an imitation firearm’’ in his waistband. Larmour left empty handed and police were alerted. A short time later residents of nearby Prospect Road saw Larmour in the garden of a house.

Approaching Larmour as he changed clothes from a gym bag, the occupier noticed he was in possession of a firearm.

Larmour, resident in a local Simon Community hostel at the time, was later located in a street in Bangor and the firearm was found under a parked car. A quantity of blank rounds were also seized during a follow-up search.

The court was told Larmour had 59 previous convictions from 27 court appearances since the age of 17, including offences of assault, common assault on police, disorderly behaviour, resisting police, rioting and 10 convictions for theft. Judge Grant handed down a three-year determinate sentence, with 18 months to be spent in custody and 18 months on supervised licence after release.