Prolific robber gets caught by police after leading them right to his house

Police did not have to do too much complicated detective work to track down a robber who left his provisional driving licence at the scene of the crime. Patrick Muddiman entered the Co-op he had planned to rob and immediately punched a shop customer who was standing at the till to the back of the head and shoved him hard out of the way.

He then threatened staff and was given around £120 in £5 and £10 notes. Then he demanded a pack of cigarettes after staff told him £20 notes were kept elsewhere and they did not have access.

The 38-year-old was restrained by a customer at the shop in the village of Brampton, near Huntington, but he managed to flee.

He then punched a second customer who tried to help restrain him.

In his panic to get away he accidentally left a black wallet, which contained his provisional driving licence, just outside the store. He was later arrested by police.

Muddiman, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, gave no comment in interview but later admitted robbery and assault by beating.

He was jailed at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday, with a further three years on licence.

Cambridgeshire Police said the defendant has 24 previous convictions for 36 offences including theft, violence and other robberies.

The theft of the cash and damage to the shop amounted to between £400-500 but the Co-op also lost about £7,000 in business after closing for a day, police added.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Sarah Longbottom said: “This was an incredibly frightening incident for both customers and staff who were in the shop at the time and genuinely feared for their safety.”

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She added: “I’d like to thank the brave shop customers who tried to help on the day – and was pleased to see the judge award the man who helped restrain Muddiman with a commendation.

“Muddiman was linked to the crime by shop CCTV and witnesses who identified him from his driving licence – a key part of evidence which he left behind.”

The robbery happened just before 10pm on March 3.

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