Trader praises police after robbers are jailed

A TADCASTER trader has congratulated the town's police after two men who robbed his shop were put behind bars.

Steven Sowry, 19, and Craig Burton, 22, both from Tadcaster, were jailed last week following an armed raid on The Chocolate Box, at Kirkgate, in March.

Appearing at York Crown Court on Thursday, May 13, Sowry was sentenced to four years' imprisonment for the robbery and 18 months' imprisonment for theft from another Tadcaster shop last October.

Burton was sentenced to four years in jail for the Chocolate Box robbery. A Tadcaster woman, 21-year-old Helen Waddington, was also sentenced to 200 hours' community rehabilitation service in connection with the robbery.

Barry Hanby, who owns The Chocolate Box as well as three other shops in Tadcaster and two in Boston Spa, said: "The police have done a great job; they didn't have much to go on."

It was the robbery that sparked staff at Mr Hanby's shop to launch a campaign calling for more police in the town. Judy Harland, who was working in the shop at the time of the raid, and Sylvia Cowley sent the petition to Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, Della Cannings. She sent them a letter of reply this week.

Mrs Cowley said the letter included reassurance that Tadcaster Police Station is manned 24 hours a day and would soon have a new sergeant and community constable.

"We were happy to get a reply from her but we were hoping for more," said Mrs Cowley. "There's not much more we can do from here. We don't have a problem with the police, we were just trying to get more officers in Tadcaster."

Mr Hanby said: "We're all highly pleased they got the sentences they have. I'm more pleased for Judy more than anything because it would have been a real slap in the face for her if they had got more lenient sentences. It sent out the right message to people; it wasn't just a slap on the wrist."