Do you recognise shotgun used in attempted robbery?
Updated on 29th August 2012
The gun looked real enough to Carol when it was pointed at her head during an attempted robbery at a bookmakers in Mansfield.
Police think the weapon used during the incident at William Hill betting shop in the Ladybrook Place shopping precinct, Ladybrook Lane, on 9 November 2011, was this imitation pistol-grip, pump-action shotgun.
It has been discovered under a pile of tyres in Leighton Burrow, in the Ladybrook estate, just a mile from the scene of the crime.
Detective Sergeant Stuart Temple, who is leading the investigation, said: “The recovery of this weapon is an important breakthrough in the case, but we now need the help of the public to tie up the loose ends.
“It is a blue air weapon, which has been painted black and fixed with black duct tape to resemble the real thing.
“Carol and her colleague Sharon could never have known it was an imitation. Despite it being a replica, the pellets could still have caused a great deal of damage if fired.
“These types of weapons are quite uncommon and a special licence is required to possess one.
“Have you seen this gun before? Do you know who it belongs to? If so, call us.”
Carol and Sharon were subjected to a terrifying ordeal when a masked man walked into the shop at around 9.20pm as they were closing up.
He threatened Carol, aged 55, with a gun, before demanding she hand over cash.
Her colleague, Sharon, raised the alarm and the man left empty-handed.
There were no customers in the shop at the time of the attack and while neither Carol nor Sharon was injured, they have suffered significantly from such a traumatic event.
Manager Carol, a grandmother, has not been able to return to the job she has loved for 34 years since that night. She continues to receive counselling and prescription medication.
Fifty-four-year-old Sharon has had her confidence dented. The mother-of-two dreads working the late shift and her husband now meets her outside the shop at the end of her shift to take her home.
Carol said: “Knowing that this man is still out there, that he knows who I am, but I don’t know who he is, is just terrifying.”
The suspect is described as being between 5ft 7ins and 5ft 9ins tall and of medium build. He is believed to be fair skinned and was dressed in a dark coat with a hooded top and dark, fitted trousers, possibly jeans. He wore dark gloves on his hands and a cream/yellow mask, which had a beak.
He spoke with a local accent and walked with a distinctive gait.
The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) has offered a reward of up to £10,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the prosecution of the offender.
Two men and a woman arrested and bailed in connection with the robbery were subsequently released with no further action.
DS Temple said: “While incidents of this nature are rare, I urge people from the area to cast their minds back to that dark, cold, dry November evening last year. It was the Wednesday after Bonfire Night weekend.
“Were you in the area? Did you stop in at the neighbouring grocery shop or enjoy a pint at the nearby Ladybrook Hotel pub?
“Did you see a man dressed in black running across the adjacent recreation ground? Perhaps you think you might know the man we are looking for?
“We need your help to find the man responsible. Anyone who has any information should call us immediately.”
Witnesses or anyone with any information about the perpetrator of this crime should contact DS Stuart Temple on 101, extension 805 3463, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting incident 863 of 9 November 2011.
In an emergency dial 999