Ten year sentence for robber who targeted Rothwell building society

Robert Rourke
Robert Rourke
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A man who assaulted and robbed two Securicor guards of £20,000 last June in Rothwell has been jailed for ten years.

Robert Rourke, 36, from Blue Gates Road in Leicester, appeared at Northampton Crown Court this week facing charges relating to the robbery, which took place at the town branch of Nationwide Building Society in Bridge Street, and an attempted robbery at a branch of Tesco in Bedworth last May.

The Rothwell incident took place on June 3 last year when Rourke entered the building society and assaulted the two security guards, who were both injured, before making off with a cash box.

He was charged with stealing £20,000 from Securicor.

Rourke initially denied the charges of robbery and attempted robbery, and was due to face trial in crown court this week.

However, during the second day of his trial on Tuesday, he changed his plea to guilty on both counts.

DC Dave Scarth, from the organised crime and drugs team at Northamptonshire Police, said Rourke is a sophisticated career criminal.

He said: “Rourke played his part in a Leicestershire based organised crime group that targeted cash delivery drivers in Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.

“He attempted to frustrate the police with a series of sophisticated measures to avoid detection, including using stolen vehicles with cloned number plates and had an acute awareness of forensic evidence.”

Det Supt David Sandall, from Operation Tiger, at Leicestershire Police, which aims to hunt down criminals and protect communities, said: “Rourke is a known nominal who has impacted on our communities.

“We will continue to work with other forces to ensure that those who choose to engage in criminal activity are put before the courts.”

Rourke was sentenced to ten years for the robbery in Rothwell and ten years for the attempted robbery in Bedworth, with both sentences to run concurrently.

He was also given a serious crime prevention order to run for five years from his eventual release date.

The attempted robbery at Tesco, Bedworth, took place on May 30 last year, when Rourke used a stolen car to travel to the shop when the cash point was being filled up.

He seriously assaulted the security guard, with one suffering a broken shoulder blade and the other significant facial injuries. However nothing was stolen during the incident.

Rourke was arrested on 4 September following a joint investigation lead by the Northamptonshire Organised Crime and Drugs Team, in partnership with Leicestershire and Warwickshire Police.