Welwyn Garden City robbers jailed for total of 10 years
PUBLISHED: 13:19 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:19 12 July 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2016
Robbers who threatened a Welwyn Garden City shop worker with a knife before leading police on a high-speed chase have been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison, combined.
The court heard how Ishea Gray-Bogle, 37, was very high when she went into One Stop Store in Peartree Lane, Welwyn Garden City, and started talking to the shop assistant about the lottery.
It was claimed that she could not remember what happened next.
Her co-defendant, Dane Seraphin, 34, then came into the shop, jumped over the counter, brandished a knife, and demanded money from the till.
Gray-Bogle also vaulted the counter.
Taking £1,000, the pair tried to make a quick getaway in a Vauxhall Corsa - but were spotted and chased by a police car.
Driver Gray-Bogle careered at 90mph in a 50mph zone, cutting across four lanes of traffic and mounting the footpath - police had to briefly give up following because the driving was so dangerous.
But shortly afterwards they crashed, on the A1 where it meets the A41, and police arrested the pair.
In a statement, the victim described her lasting damage from the robbery on the morning of November 21 last year.
She said: “This whole thing has left me really scared about working in a shop. Normally I can work the late shift until 10pm but now I am scared.”
“These people have scared me and made me feel unsafe.”
Seraphin, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article and for the robbery was given five years, eight months in prison with an extended licence period of four years.
For having a knife he received eight months imprisonment, to run concurrently.
He has had 11 previous convictions, but mitigating defence barrister Alessandro di Francesco argued in those crimes he had not physically hurt anyone, and so was not as dangerous as first appearances.
Gray-Bogle, of Connaught Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to a variety of offences - she got seven and half years in total, five years for robbery as well as one year sentences for driving dangerously, driving while disqualified, and offences committed in Maidstone prison, to run concurrently to each other but consecutively to the five years.
She was also resentenced for another dangerous driving offence, for which she got six months.
Gray-Bogle’s barrister Sonal Dashani said she had had a difficult upbringing and only commits crimes when under extreme stress. At St Albans Crown Court Judge Stephen Warner handed down the sentence saying: “This was a very frightening experience for the victim, who was scared that she was going to get hurt because of the proximity of the knife.”
He stressed that although Seraphin did not physically harm her, the victim had no idea if he would.
He added: “This was a joint enterprise in which for [Seraphin] and [Gray-Bogle] there was clearly an element of planning involved.”