Robber Rocco Lepore jailed for cigarettes theft
A 25-YEAR-OLD refused cigarettes because he was unable to prove his age told shop assistants "I'll serve myself" before stealing them.
Rocco Lepore lost his temper when he was asked for ID at the McColls newsagent on the Old Mixon estate, Weston-super-Mare.
Bristol Crown Court heard he hurled a bottle of drink towards a display stand and ran off with a packet of cigarettes as staff activated the shop's panic alarm. He was later identified from his DNA on the bottle.
Lepore, 26, of Locking Road, pleaded guilty to robbery in May last year.
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Judge Carol Hagen jailed him for 18 months, telling him: "This was a very frightening incident for those two women, who were vulnerable and on their own. You simply lost your temper and reacted in the way I've heard."
Ian Dixey, prosecuting, said the shop was manned by Teresa Nettleton and Adele Turnbull, who was seven-and-a-half months pregnant at the time.
Mr Dixey said when Lepore was asked for ID trouble flared and he tried to grab cigarettes before throwing a half full bottle of drink, which bounced and caught Ms Nettleton on the bridge of her nose.
The shop's panic alarm was activated and doors locked, but Lepore gabbed a packet of cigarettes and exited via an open back door, the court heard.
Mr Dixey said Lepore appeared before a recorder at Bristol Crown Court in September last year, and sentence was deferred on grounds including that he not re-offend.
But, the court heard, Lepore was arrested for shoplifting wine in Northamptonshire and had failed to attend court twice.
Nadeem Aullybocus, defending, said his client had thrown the bottle at a display stand hoping to hit cigarettes, and it bounced into the assistant.
Mr Aullybocus said: "He doesn't make excuses. He knows he's done wrong."