THE GETAWAY driver for robberies at a filling station and a village store claimed he did not know what his passenger was doing while he was waiting for him in the car.
But Samuel Gold’s protests of innocence were shot down after a jury at Warwick Crown Court heard the gun used in the two robberies was found under his bed.
Gold, age 30 of Freshwater Grove, Leamington, was found guilty of two charges of robbery and two charges of possessing an imitation firearm at the time of committing an offence.
Both offences happened on Sunday January 15.
Prosecutor Simon Foster told the jury that a CCTV camera at the BP garage in Stratford Road, Warwick, showed around 8pm a white VW Golf pulled onto the forecourt and the driver, Gold, was visible.
Gold bought something in the shop, returned to the car, and drove off before going round the block before returning to Stratford Road.
He backed onto a grassed area which runs along the side and rear of the filling station, ‘from where you can make your way to the garage without making yourself known to the CCTV until you’re in the shop.’
Gold remained in the car while his passenger, dressed in black and with his hoodie concealing his face, went into the shop brandishing a gun in his right hand.
The gun was pointed at the cashier by the unidentified robber who demanded he empty the till.
The cashier obeyed as the robber told him: “I don’t want to do this, but I’m in trouble.”
He leaned over the counter to check the till drawer and demanded cigarettes which were handed over.
He then left with just over £200 in cash and the packets of cigarettes, and returned to the Golf which drove off at speed.
Mr Foster said:“Jump to 9pm and to the Co-op store in Long Itchington, which you can do in the time.
“Again there is CCTV in that store, and enter the same man, wearing a balaclava.
“He still had the gun, and he pointed it at two frightened assistants and said ‘I want the money.’ He ordered them to go to the till and asks for the money to be put in a bag.
“He again came across as almost apologetic, saying ‘I don’t want to do this.’ But he was pointing a gun, and once again he left with cash, about £400.”
When the police saw the CCTV recording they could make out the registration number of the Golf and spoke to its owner who revealed that he had lent it to Gold.
Gold was found and arrested, and claimed he was of no fixed address – which Mr Foster said was not true, and that he lived in a multi-occupancy house in Freshwater Grove, where he had a ground floor front room.
Police searched the room, and under the bed they found a blank-firing pistol which ‘to all intents and purposes appeared to be the real thing.’
During the trial Gold accepted he had been the driver, but said his passenger had asked to be taken to the petrol station and to the store, and claimed he did not know what he was doing, or that the gun was under his bed.
But Mr Foster said: “The Crown say he participated in the offences, even if he was not the one who thrust the gun into the shopkeepers’ faces.”
After the jury returned its unanimous verdicts, Judge Barry Berlin adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared to consider whether Gold poses a danger to the public, and remanded him in custody.