Scissor raider from Collier Row jailed

A “tearaway”, from Collier Row, who robbed an all-night off licence with a pair of scissors was jailed for almost three years today (Wednesday).

Simon Gregory, 25, and an accomplice grabbed cigarettes and �400 after smashing their way into Barking 24 Hour Shop, in Ripple Road, Barking, on April 4.

Gregory, of Elizabeth Close, grabbed a pair of scissors from the counter and ran at the terrified cashier while making a stabbing motion, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

The pair escaped but were caught after police found the scissors, stained with his blood, on the forecourt and matched his DNA, said prosecutor Navneet Sher.

Less than three months later on June 25, Gregory stole �185 from the Cherry Tree pub in Wood Lane, Dagenham.

The father-of-one told the barmaid he was going to “nick the till” but she believed he was joking.

“He ordered a drink and some crisps and when she entered them in the cash register he jumped over the bar, opened the till and stole �185 in cash,” Ms Sher added.

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Following his arrest for the robbery, Gregory admitted being at the store and grabbing the scissors, which he wrongly believed to be a knife.

He admitted stealing the cash from the pub, saying he was having problems with drugs and was put under pressure after running up a �2,000 debt with his dealers.

The court heard Gregory has a string of previous convictions.

Sentencing Gregory to two years and eight months in prison, Judge Murray Shanks described him as a “tearaway”.

Judge Shanks said: “You have a bad record of offending but it seems to end in 2007.

“For some reason it’s gone up a grade and seems to have come back again.

“It may be something to do with the drugs but that is not something that cuts much ice here.

“If you get involved in that world, you have to deal with the consequences and it is not something I can I can give a lot of thought to.

John Livingston, defending Gregory, said he was “exploited” by drug dealers who threatened to harm him and his family.

“All the proceeds of his criminality ended up with drug dealers.

“He was exploited by others putting pressure on him to raise money he couldn’t find from other sources.

Gregory admitted robbery, possessing an offensive weapon and burglary.