A ROBBER who held up two men at gunpoint in Cirencester was so conscience stricken that he gave himself up a week later, Gloucester Crown Court heard.
Former soldier Robert Greenacre, 20, of Trinity road, Cirencester, confessed that he and Bradley Morgan, 21, of no fixed address, were responsible for robbing Andrew Mayer and another man, who wishes to remain anonymous, on May 16 last year at Stratton Heights.
At Gloucester crown court Greenacre and Morgan were each sentenced to four years custody after they admitted the two robbery charges.
Derek Ryder, prosecuting, said the two victims were walking home at 3.30am after a night out when they became aware of three youths approaching.
They asked one victim for the time but moments after he answered he and his friend realised one of the group was pointing a gun at Mr Mayer.
"The male holding the gun demanded that they empty their pockets," said Mr Ryder. "Mr Mayer thought it was a BB gun but was not prepared to take a chance.
"Because he was more reticent about emptying out his pockets and handing over his property he was headbutted.
"The victims handed over watches, coins and their i-Phones and the defendants ran off. The victims went home and reported the robbery to the police."
Mr Ryder said that about a week later Greenacre went to a police station and admitted he had been involved in the robbery.
On June 14 another man was arrested because he was in possession of a wallet stolen from one of the victims, Mr Ryder said.
He told police he had been given it by Greenacre.
That led to Greenacre being arrested on 24th June and he told police he had been out with Morgan that night, that they drove around and spotted the victims and decided to rob them. He told police it was Morgan who had the gun.
On September 12 Morgan was arrested and interviewed and he admitted being with Greenacre and carrying out the robbery.
He said they had gone to Exeter after the robbery and had sold the stolen phones for £300.
Police recovered the weapon which turned out to be a BB gun.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC, referring to victim impact statements made by the two victims, said "They speak about the great deal of inconvenience caused over a long period of time and say they are now wary about going out at night, which is hardly surprising."
Mr Ryder said "They were also concerned about personal information and photos which were on their iPhones."
As well as the robbery Morgan, who is currently serving a two year sentence imposed by Swindon Crown court for burglary, asked for four other offences to be considered.
These were burglary of a McDonald's safe, theft of a mini motorbike, theft from a garden shed and burglary of a house.
Greenacre was a man of previous good character apart from a reprimand for possessing cannabis but Morgan had a long criminal record for violence and dishonesty, Mr Ryder said.
Nicola Berryman, for Greenacre, said the offence had been a 'bit of a slip' after he lost focus and direction on his life when he left the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and starting drinking and using cocaine and cannabis.
"He seems to have come to his senses very quickly and a week after the robbery, having gone over and over it in his mind, he went to the police,"" she said.
"The chances are the police would not have solved this crime without him doing so"
For Morgan, David Bartlett said his client, who has two children aged 1 and 5, had written a letter to the court expressing his remorse for the offence. He asked the judge to accept it as genuine.
Morgan had a hard childhoood and his mother had 'upped sticks and moved to Cyprus, leaving him to fend for himself when he was 14.'
"He has taken steps to apologise to his two victims and he hopes to have the opportunity to speak to them face to fade to tell them how sorry he is."
Passing sentence Judge Tabor said he found it very difficult to understand how Greenacre got himself mixed up in such a serious offence. He told Morgan he regarded him as a 'semi professional criminal.'