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Robbers who left Nazi knife at Thatcham bookies jailed

Pair targeted Thatcham store and eight others 

John Herring

John Herring

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886633

Robbers who left Nazi knife at Thatcham bookies jailed

Two men have been jailed for committing nine knife-point robberies across three counties, including a raid in Thatcham.  

James Frampton (pictured left) and Michael Purkiss targeted betting shops in Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire between January 13 and January 27 this year.

The pair hit Ladbrokes in Crown Mead, Thatcham on January 23, while staff hid in a room during the robbery. 

A knife resembling one carried by Nazi SS officers was recovered from the Thatcham bookies and was forensically linked to both men.

Frampton, age 30, of Byron Road, Eastleigh and Purkiss, age 55, of Arthur Road, Eastleigh were both jailed for 12 years at Southampton Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday).

The pair committed nine robberies over 15 days, starting off their spree in Corals in Bitterne Precinct and ending in Corals, Chandlers Ford. The pair stole more than £5,000.

In each case, Frampton entered the betting shops with his face covered and armed with a knife. He would demand money from the staff, threatening them if they did not comply.

He would then jump into a car outside, being driven by Purkiss. 

In total Frampton threatened 14 members of staff working at shops in Southampton, Romsey, Holbury, Hedge End, Poole and Thatcham.

Thames Valley Police appealed for information into the Thatcham robbery, saying that a man had approached the counter and taken cash from one of the tills.

But he was tripped up by a member of the public as he left the shop; dropping the cash and dagger, which were later recovered by police.

The car the pair used was a silver VW Polo, registered to Purkiss’s mother, and evidence from ANPR cameras was used to place the men in the locations of the robberies at the right time.

Cell site analysis of Purkiss’s phone linked him to the robberies and clothing seized from the pair matched that seen in the CCTV from the premises.

Officers arrested the pair in a vehicle on January 31 and charged them with robbery.

Detective constable Ali Humby said: “This was a fast-paced investigation that spanned three counties over 15 days. The level of violence threatened and the weapons used by Frampton to scare staff in these premises must have been terrifying. Even though no one was physically injured, experiencing this type of crime has had huge impacts on staff working at these stores.

“I hope the sentences today serve as some closure to those staff members who were subjected to these crimes. I also hope this sends a message to those thinking committing this type of crime is easy to get away with - it isn't. We will catch you, and when we do, you will go to prison for very long time.”

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