Sheffield machete man injured in shop robbery for birthday gift

An “immature” Sheffield man was injured with his own machete when he tried robbing a store to buy his daughter a birthday present, a court has heard.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 8:47 am

Lester Ramsey put to the blade to the shopkeeper's neck and demanded money but his victim fought back, injuring his hands as he grappled with the blade which eventually slashed Ramsey's thigh.

Ramsey donned blue latex gloves and a face covering before entering the store on Verdon Street, Burngreave, at 9.30am on July 13, said prosecutor Ian Goldsack.

But he was chased out of the shop after the 12-second struggle, discarding the blade and his disguise, and they were later recovered with traces of his DNA.

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Lester Ramsey

He was taken to hospital, claiming it was an accident sustained at home, but he was arrested, Mr Goldsack said.

In a statement, the shopkeeper, who was only helping out a friend, said he was "scared for his life," and added: "The person was clearly going to kill me."

Ramsey has 14 previous convictions for 28 offences, including robberies in 2012 and 2013, and possession of a blade, battery and kidnapping in 2016, Sheffield Crown Court heard on Thursday.

In December 2016, aged 17, he punched a man who fell and fatally hit his head. He was sentenced to 39 months in a Young Offenders Institution for manslaughter, and was on licence at the time of the attempted robbery.

Verdon Street, in Burngreave, Sheffield.

Richard Adams, mitigating, said Ramsey was without means and living with his mother and sisters at the time.

"That day was his infant daughter's birthday and her mother had been shaming him for not being able to provide for her," Mr Adams said.

"He chose to flee without offering any real resistance. The probation service has assessed him as immature."

Ramsey, 21, of Nottingham Street, Burngreave, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, unlawful wounding and possession of an offensive weapon.

Judge Graham Reeds QC told him: "I take into count your young age and your immaturity to an extent.

"But this does not come close to mitigating the aggravating features of your offences.”

He sentenced Ramsey to six years in prison and ruled he was a dangerous offender, but did not impose an extended sentence.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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