Jewel robber told to expect long sentence

Police outside Gouldbuys in Flowergate, following Friday's robbery
Police outside Gouldbuys in Flowergate, following Friday's robbery

A gun-toting robber told a terrified shopkeeper to hand over thousands of pounds worth of jewellery during a hold-up in Whitby, a court heard.

Timothy Moloney, 19, donned a face mask and hoodie when he burst into Gouldbuys on Flowergate with a black handgun, demanding the shopkeeper fill his hold-all with dozens of chains.

Holding the gun at arm’s length he shouted: “Fill the bag with chains. I mean it - do it now.” As the jeweller dashed to the staff area and locked the door, Moloney scooped up about 25 chains and stuffed them into his bag.

Prosecuting barrister David Hall said Moloney scarpered but stopped to terrorise a passer-by, holding the gun to his face and shouting: “Bang!”

He got into a waiting car driven by another man and sped from the scene, but was later arrested following a flurry of calls to police and rumours on social media.Moloney, of Hanover Terrace, Whitby, was charged with robbery and admitting the offence at a previous hearing.

Mr Hall said that the night before the robbery on May 1 - the day the Tour de Yorkshire came to town - Moloney told a friend he owed a drug debt to an organised crime group and planned to commit an armed robbery to pay them back.

He burst into the jeweller’s at about 10.30am with a hold-all containing a hand gun. He whipped out the gun, which said ‘Made in the USA’ on it.

“He held it out at arm’s length,” said Mr Hall. “The (victim) noticed that the robber’s hands were shaking.”

Following the heist, Moloney told a confidant he had sold the chains in Manchester for £3,500 and spent the money on clothes and a night out.

Neither the chains nor the gun were ever recovered.

The court heard Moloney, who appeared via video link from Hull Prison, was cautioned in 2012 for possessing a weapon in public.

Judge Stephen Ashurst deferred sentence until July 6 to give the Crown Prosecution Service time to obtain a victim-impact statement from the shopkeeper.

He told Moloney to expect a long prison sentence.