KFC robber jailed for 12 and a half years

Michael Atkinson
Michael Atkinson

A robber raided a KFC restaurant with a replica gun - then went on to cause a rooftop standoff.

Michael Atkinson, 40, was found guilty of the robbery at KFC in Fleetwood following a trial at Preston Crown Court, as well as two firearms offences and a burglary.

His relatives shrieked and cried in the public gallery as The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown passed the sentence.

He said: "You threatened the staff with the gun and climbed over the counter to try to open the tills

"After you'd been able to get some money you left the shop.

"It must have been a frightening ordeal for the staff and although you were not shouting or swearing, the presence of a gun was enough to cause them to be terrified."

"There were three distinct offences with different victims and the total sentence should reflect this fact."

The defendant, of Harris Street, Fleetwood, used an imitation Colt gun in a robbery at the restaurant on Lord Street, Fleetwood, on June 5 last year, in which he stole £600 takings from a female employee.

She has been left suffering nightmares and anxiety.

Throughout his trial, despite pleading not guilty to the actual charge of robbery, Atkinson admitted he had robbed the restaurant "under duress" from other criminals due to a long standing drug debt, and said he feared for his children's lives.

During cross examination, Atkinson, who has convictions for burglary and possessing a loaded air weapon, claimed he had "wanted to be caught" for the robbery.

Judith McCullough, prosecuting, said hours before the robbery he burgled a property on Byron Street, Fleetwood, in which £2,770 of property was taken, including two imitation Colt revolvers and imitation ammunition and jewellery.

He was convicted of possessing the gun the following day to cause fear it would be used against a police community support officer (PCSO) on North Church Street. She feared she would be shot after she followed him down an alley and confronted him in a back yard - where he pulled a gun out.

Atkinson said it "didn't matter if he took her because he was going to be taken anyway".

It led to a rooftop stand off which lasted for hours.

Defending, Daniel Harman said his client had had a very bad childhood, and added: "It was a case where a lot of the behaviour was accepted by the defendant."

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