A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for the robbery and assault on one shop keeper and a racially aggravated assault on another.
Michael O’Leary, of Upper Holloway, pleaded guilty to assault with attempt to rob and two x Section 20 assaults, one being racially aggravated and was sentenced to eight years imprisonment at Blackfriars Crown Court on Tuesday.
On September 23, at about 7:15pm, the 35-year-old entered a shop in Camden and threatened the shopkeeper with a knife and demanded money whilst high on drink and drugs.
As he attempted to open the till, on Greenland Road, he was disturbed by a customer, and as O’Leary shouted at the customer to get out, the shopkeeper managed to push him to the floor.
As O’Leary got up he again threatened the victim with a knife, and as the victim put his hand up to defend himself he was cut with a knife. He ran away, leaving his weapon behind.
About an hour and a half later, O’Leary entered a shop on Holloway Road, armed with two more knives.
He walked behind the counter and made a religious inflammatory comment to the shopkeeper.
He then pulled a knife, lunged at the shopkeeper and wrestled him to the floor.
The shopkeeper was able to kick O’Leary away, and was also left with a knife wound to the hand, before the perpetrator ran away from the crime, again leaving his knives behind.
Detective Constable Kerry Cooper from Islington CID said: “This was a dangerous individual that armed himself with knives to rob two different shops late at night. One of the robberies was racially aggravated by making a religiously inflammatory remark to an Islington shopkeeper.
“If it wasn’t for the courage of the two shopkeepers fighting off Mr O’Leary then these incidents could have led to someone being seriously hurt. After good detective work by Islington officers it wasn’t long before Mr O’Leary was identified and arrested. He was charged and pleaded guilty at court due to the amount of evidence against him. A racially dangerous offender has now been taken off the streets to serve his sentence in prison.”