Armed robbery pair jailed for seven-and-a-half years
TWO armed robbers who used a gun and a knife to threaten a takeaway worker have been jailed for a total of seven-and-a-half years.
Mark Bastiman, who has a number of previous convictions, was jailed for five years after he pointed a gun at the head of Amanda Warner. His accomplice, Lee Huball, who held a knife, received a term of two years and six months.
The pair were responsible for a raid on the Samrat takeaway in Llwynhendy, Llanelli, on November 3.
Bastiman kicked open the door of the takeaway before marching towards the counter and pointing the gun straight at Ms Warner as she worked behind the counter.
She said she originally thought Bastiman was playing a practical joke but then realised it was a genuine robbery.
Three teenage girls who were waiting in the shop all gave statements describing their terror at seeing him holding the gun, which was later found to be an imitation gun.
Ms Warner shouted at them to run out of the shop, which they did.
Ms Warner tried to back towards the kitchen, where there were other staff, but stopped when she saw Huball, who was holding a 6in knife, standing behind her.
As she turned, she then saw Bastiman leaning over the counter and grabbing a safe which contained up to £1,600 before the pair ran off
Huball had named Bastiman as his accomplice in his police interview but Bastiman denied the charges and stood trial last week.
Bastiman, aged 40, of Heol Elfed, Llwynhendy, was convicted of robbery and possessing an imitation firearm with intent. Huball, aged 22, also of Heol Elfed, Llwynhendy had pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article.
Huball said the pair had decided to rob the takeaway to retrieve money that was owed.
He said Bastiman took the safe and ran off, throwing it into a garden to collect later. Bastiman later told him there had been no money in the safe so Huball said he received no financial benefit for his part in the robbery.
Huball said his role was to act as look out but admitted holding the knife, which he was described as doing in a “threatening manner”.
The pair were due to be sentenced together by videolink at Swansea Crown Court but prison staff would not allow them to sit in the same room, so they had to be sentenced separately.
Judge Paul Thomas told Bastiman he had caused “a great deal of upset” to Ms Warner and the teenage customers.
“It was an imitation weapon designed to, and did, cause maximum fear to those who saw it,” he said.
He said his sentence would be greater than Huball’s because of his previous convictions, including a three year term for dealing drugs, and the fact he did not admit his guilt.
Huball has one previous conviction for shoplifting.
The judge told him: “You are in short a young man far less criminally sophisticated than Mark Bastiman and it seems that’s apparent it should be reflected in sentence. There are good prospects for you and I hope when you come out, I hope you can put all this behind you.”
Huball received a term of two years and six months.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Richard Hopkin said: “We welcome both the conviction and today’s sentencing of the two defendants. “This crime was an extremely traumatic incident for the victims, who were just going about their work and who weren’t expecting to be robbed and threatened with such weapons.
“I hope this result acts as a strong deterrent to anyone else thinking of committing such a crime and reassures our community that we take such incident very seriously and will do all we can to keep people safe and bring those who threaten to harm others to justice.”