TWO men have been found guilty in connection with the attempted robbery of security officers. 

Tony Turner, 39, of no fixed address and Karl Lawrence, 32, of Walderslade Road, Chatham, who changed his name to Thomas Knight, denied attempting to rob two security officers at the Tesco supermarket, on the Brook Retail Park in Clacton on Janaury 18 2017.

It was alleged that the two men, wearing masks, threatened cash management security staff with a gun and demanded they handed over the money they were depositing into nearby cash machines.

During the attempt, one of the men fired two gunshots between the security officers, but thankfully, the bullets were blanks.

Despite a constant threat from the two men, the brave security staff managed to manoeuvre themselves out of danger, however, the barrel of the gun was temporarily trapped between doors dividing the security officers and the two men.

The firearm was once again discharged, causing no damage or injury.

The two men left empty handed and were seen by witnesses driving away in a silver Volvo, which was later recovered by officers.

A scientific examination of the Volvo, which was identified as having been stolen from a car dealership in Crawley earlier that month, indicated that DNA profiles found belonged to that of Turner and Lawrence.

Detectives continued to investigate the crime, analysing CCTV, number plate recognition cameras and mobile phones.

Based on the evidence gathered, the Crown Prosecution Service authorised charges of attempted robbery and having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Turner and Lawrence were summoned to appear at Colchester Magistrate's Court on Tuesday August 6 last year, but Lawrence failed to appear and was subsequently arrested in Chatham, Kent on Thursday November 14.

Despite their denial, a jury found Turner and Lawrence guilty of both offences at Chelmsford Crown Court today, Wednesday February 19.

"This was a very distressing experience for the two security officers and I commend their bravery," said investigating officer Detective Sergeant Sarah Winn.

"Turner and Lawrence went to extreme lengths to threaten the two men.

"They took a gun with them to intimidate the security officers and scare them into handing over a substantial sum of money.

"The victim's didn't know the gun had blank bullets and to them, the threat to their lives was very real.

"I'm delighted that the jury listened to the evidence presented, understood the severity of the crime and convicted these two individuals."

Turner and Lawrence have been remanded in custody and will appeal at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing the week commencing Monday April 13.