Two nights after robbing a terrified taxi driver at gunpoint, a Rugby couple held up a hotel night porter and forced him to open the safe.
Gunman Adam Graham and his accomplice Lisa Amos knew that was when the safe would have the most money in it before it was banked the next day – because Amos had previously worked there.
Graham, 38, of Prior Park Road, Rugby, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of robbery, two of possessing a firearm at the time of the offences and possessing ammunition.
He and Amos, 33, of the same address, who had pleaded guilty to all five charges at an earlier hearing, were both jailed for a total of eight-and-a-half years.
Prosecutor Laura Hobson said the couple’s first victim was chosen by chance as he was the driver at the front of the taxi rank outside Rugby railway station at 9.30pm on Sunday, August 28.
The defendants got in and asked to go to York Street.
“The driver stopped at the end of York Street, and Graham put his hand in his pocket as if to get his money out; but in fact produced a gun and pointed it at the driver and said: ‘Give me the money.’”
The terrified driver, who did not realise the barrel of the .38 calibre revolver had been blocked up, handed over his cash box containing £60-70.”
The two then asked for more. Graham pushed the gun into his neck, saying ‘Don’t tell the police,’ and the driver took his wallet from behind the visor and gave it to them, and they also took his phone.
When they had gone, the petrified victim drove back to a police van they had passed on the way and reported it.
Two days later, at 4.30 in the morning on the following Tuesday, the night porter at the Premier Inn hotel in Brownsover Road went outside for a cigarette break.
Graham suddenly appeared and pulled out the revolver and pointed it at the porter, ordering him to go and get the cash from the till.
Graham followed the man inside, and when he was handed the £49 contents of the till, he demanded the money from the safe.
Amos, knew the banking was done on a Tuesday, so that was the night the safe would have the most in it.
After that robbery, the couple knew the police would be looking for them, and Graham tried to change his appearance. But they were confronted by armed officers when they were later spotted in Hudson Road, Rugby.
Graham fled, but when he was caught and arrested nearby he told the officers where he had thrown the revolver as he ran, and Amos was also arrested nearby.
When the police went to the couple’s home, they found four live rounds of .38 ammunition, although the gun itself was not capable of firing them, said Miss Hobson.
Both victims made statements detailing their fear. The taxi driver said he still suffers flashbacks and struggles to work at night.
The night porter said he was also scared about going back to work – but that his Christian faith has helped him forgive the defendants.
David Everett, defending, said both Amos and Graham had had poor starts in life, and Graham was ‘an alcoholic or very close to it’ by the time he was 19.
The couple had committed previous offences together, although nothing as serious as the robberies, to get money for drugs.
Mr Everett said they had managed to stop taking drugs after they were released from a sentence for fraud in 2010 – but went back onto them ‘not long ago’ after Amos suffered a traumatic experience they found it hard to cope with.
Their habit was costing £40 a day, and in desperation, after coming into possession of the gun, they carried out the two robberies, he added.
Judge Richard Griffith-Jones gave them consecutive four-year sentences for the two robberies, with a further six months for the possession of the ammunition.
He told them: “Not for the first time people stand to be sentenced in the crown court because of what they did motivated by a desire to satisfy an addiction to class A drugs.”