SHOTGUN toting robbers who fired at security staff have been jailed for a total of 32 years.

Tony Turner and Karl Lawrence, who later changed his name to Thomas Knight, worse masks and threatened men who were depositing cash into an ATM at Tesco on the Brook Retail Park in Clacton.

Turner fired the sawn-off shotgun, but the bullets were blanks and the brave Loomis security staff managed to fight them off.

The officers got themselves between a set of van doors and the robbers, but the gun got stuck and was fired for a second time.

Fortunately, it was again a blank round.

Turner and Lawrence aborted the robbery and fled in a stolen silver Volvo which police later recovered.

Their DNA was found inside.


Chelmsford Crown Court heard the pair had tried to steal some £124,000 and had meticulously planned the attempted heist on various reconnaissance trips to Clacton in the days before the attempted raid in January 2017.

Turner, 39, has 27 convictions for 73 previous offences for trying to steal from cash in transit vehicles.

Lawrence, 33, has six previous convictions for 11 offences including robbing the same bookmakers twice in 2012.

The pair got to know each other because their siblings were in a relationship.

Turner, of no fixed address, and Lawrence, of Walderslade Road, Chatham, both denied attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence but were convicted after a trial.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Christopher Morgan said Turner was a dangerous individual. He was handed an 18 year jail term with an extended four year licence period.

He decided Lawrence was not dangerous and was an accomplice in the raid. He was jailed for 14 years.

“It is clear this was a professional, commercial robbery,” he said.

“You obtained stolen vehicles, fake number plates and used a number of different mobile phones.

“A sawn-off shotgun was fired.

“There is no lawful purpose for such a weapon.

“One significant feature is that it was a blank round which had been put in the chamber.

“Unbeknownst to you, both officers had knowledge of firearms and shotguns.

“They were able to realise it was a blank and push back.”