Man sentenced to 10 years imprisonment after robbery with handgun and Stanley knife at Hornchurch Sainsbury’s Local

PUBLISHED: 11:58 12 October 2018

William O'Reilly. Picture: Met Police

William O'Reilly. Picture: Met Police

Met Police

A man who threatened Sainsbury’s staff with a handgun and a Stanley knife has been sentenced to 10 years and four months imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court this morning.

On Wednesday, August 8, at around 10.55pm, William O’Reilly, 44, of no fixed abode, entered the Sainsbury’s Local store, in Suttons Lane, Hornchurch, and approached the counter asking to buy cigarettes and matches.

When he realised he didn’t have enough money, O’Reilly was refused service.

He walked away from the till but then turned around and produced a handgun, pointing it at a member of staff, demanding that the till be opened.

He then climbed on top of the counter and forced all three staff members into a corner behind the till area, shouting and swearing at them.

O’Reilly also had a Stanley knife and threatened to slash staff in the neck if the money wasn’t handed over.

As he was taking money from the till,

One member of staff took the brave decision to tackle him to the ground and was assisted by other members of staff in detaining him before police arrived.

O’Reilly was on life licence for commercial robbery at the time of the offence, having been given an indeterminate sentence in August 2008.

He was subject to a recall for having failed to comply with the terms of the license.

On September 7 at Snaresbrook Crown Court, O’Reilly pleaded guilty plea to robbery, possession of an imitation firearm whilst committing a Schedule 1 offence and threatening a person with an offensive weapon in a public place.

The judge commended the victims of the robbery for their actions in apprehending O’Reilly.

Det Con Shona Wilkinson from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the victims, who showed immense bravery in tackling O’Reilly, during what must have been a terrifying ordeal.

“O’Reilly is a career criminal and I am pleased that he now faces a substantial period in prison.”

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