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‘Laurel and Hardy’ robbery pair among four jailed for ‘axe attack’ robbery plot

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A pair joked about being Bonnie and Clyde but ended up jailed over a raid as a judge declared: “It was more like Laurel and Hardy.”

They were part of a group who felt they could get cheap drugs in Worksop – then left a trail of clues, a court heard.

An unknown man was recruited to add “muscle.” He used an axe to strike a man who faced hooded intruders. That victim suffered a 10-inch gash to his head and a fractured eye socket.

The axeman has not been traced but four people have been locked up after admitting conspiracy to rob a man in his Worksop home.

A four-year term was ordered for Aaron Meehan, 37, of Wiltshire Road, London.

Three years in prison was imposed on Porcher Toynbee, 22, of Bawtry Close, Lincoln.

The pair’s phone text chats were read by Sarah Gaunt, prosecuting, at Nottingham Crown Court.

One said: “Hashtag Robin Hood.”

The reply was: “Bonnie and Clyde ???”

Messages also came from Toynbee’s father Alan O’Neil, 45, of Heavitree Road, Plumstead, London.

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COURTS IN NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

He was jailed for two years.

In one, he advised his daughter on how to act inside the man’s house, saying: “Take him down quick.”

When he knew the raiders were heading for Worksop, he messaged her: “Butterfies in the stomach?”

She replied: “Not at all, buzzing. Ha, Ha.”He came back to her: “Ha, Ha be safe. Lots of kisses.”

An 18-month prison sentence was ordered for Alex Cawood-Charlton, 26, of Ruston Way, Lincoln.

He admitted entering the house.

Judge Andrew Tindal told them: “At one point in various text messages, references are made to Bonnie and Clyde.

“This was more like Laurel and Hardy.“

“This was in many ways a fantasy running out of control. We are not dealing with violent gangsters, we are dealing with people who are hatching a plan on the back of an envelope.”

Mark Knowles, for Toynbee, said she had no idea a weapon would be used and she left before the man was hurt.

She knew the victim had access to drugs.

It was felt that it was “cheaper in Worksop than it would be to obtain drugs in London”, added Mr Knowles.

Hal Ewing, for Meehan, said: “The text messages are a fantasy egging each other on.”

Lisa Hardy, for Cawood-Charlton, said: “It has been an incredibly huge wake-up call for this young man.”

Stefan Fox, for O’Neil, said: “He had no knowledge of a weapon being brandished or used. It has been a traumatic period in his life.”

Detective Matt Dumbrell, who led the investigation, said: “This was a complex investigation which led officers from Nottinghamshire Police to various locations throughout the country. It was an impressive team effort.

“Our focus from the outset was around the public interest and bringing the offenders to justice. I would like to thank David Allan and Sarah Gaunt from the Crown Prosecution Service. We worked really closely together on this challenging case to achieve the best possible results.

“I believe that this investigation demonstrates we will tirelessly carry out our duties against those intent on committing violent offences within Nottinghamshire.”

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