A man has been jailed for an armed robbery in Peaceheaven after the stole three bottles of booze worth just £40 from a supermarket at gunpoint.
Staff were terrified when John Guerin pulled out what looked like a handgun and threatened them in the Sainsbury’s shop in South Coast Road a few weeks before Christmas.
At Lewes Crown Court last week Judge David Rennie jailed the jobless drug user for eight years even though he may only have been pointing a ball-bearing (BB) gun.
Guerin, 44, was living in Anson House, Trafalgar Close, Peacehaven, at the time and had just missed two supervision appointments in the previous fortnight after being released from prison.
In February at Brighton Magistrates’ Court he was sent back to prison for seven days for that offence.
When Guerin, formerly of Highfields, in the Coldean area of Brighton, went into the Peacehaven shop in December last year he grabbed the booze and put it in a bag.
As he tried to walk out of the shop he was challenged by staff. Sussex Police said: “At around 8.40pm on Sunday 4 December police were called to the supermarket in South Coast Road where a suspected shoplifter pulled out a handgun and threatened staff with it in order to get away.
“Officers immediately searched the area but didn’t find anyone matching the description.
“However, officers began inquiries and released an image from the CCTV.
“In January 2016 arrested Guerin for the robbery. He was charged with robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.”
Guerin, sometimes known as Sean Walsh, went on trial at Hove Crown Court last month and was convicted of both the robbery and having the imitation gun.
And last week Guerin, most recently of Canada Grove, in Bognor, was jailed.
Detective Constable Sean Stapley said: “Guerin went into Sainsbury’s and stole alcohol.
“When challenged he pulled out what turned out to be a BB gun. Nonetheless the members of staff were terrified and I am glad Guerin is now in prison.”
In September, when he was living in Highfields, in Coldean, he was fined £100 for failing to turn up for an assessment having being arrested after taking cocaine and heroin.