TWO men and a woman have been jailed for robbery after they demanded money from their victim before driving him to a cashpoint and assaulting him.

Shaun Goodwin, Liam Aaron Dann and Stephanie Hepple were held jointly responsible for the robbery which took place outside the Sainsbury’s store in Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, in July.

Durham Crown Court heard that, on July 21, 37-year-old Goodwin contacted an acquaintance and asked him for money and if he could stay at his address.

Read more: Man and woman admit robbing Coundon cash machine customer

The victim refused but, knowing Goodwin’s character, thought he would turn up anyway so went to an ATM before he arrived but was unable to withdraw cash.

Goodwin, of Laygate, South Shields, did turn up and when the victim said he could not give him the money, he recruited Dann and Hepple to go back to the premises with him.

Goodwin went through the victim’s belongings and drank his beer and when Dann, 27, of Durham Road, Bowburn, started asking about money the atmosphere became agitated.

The victim tried to leave but 25-year-old Hepple, of Clarence Street, Bowburn, blocked his way and Goodwin grabbed the man by the throat and pinned him to the sofa.

The trio took the victim to a cash machine but when it would not dispense the money they wanted, Dann got out of the car and punched him on the nose, head and body.

The judge said that whilst Dann carried out the sustained attack, during which the victim was knocked to the ground and held in a choke-hold, all three had pleaded guilty to the robbery – which had had a lasting impact on the victim and witnesses, for the sake of just £40.

During the incident Hepple had twice suggested the victim should be assaulted, once saying he could be taken to South Shields and left there, and she and Goodwin watched as Dann carried out the main assault.

Judge Ray Singh said: “Whoever inflicted the violence you were jointly responsible for the offence.”

The court heard that Dann was employed at Permoid Industries, in Newton Aycliffe, at the time of the offence and working hard on putting his past behaviour behind him.

Richard Herrmann, mitigating for Hepple, said a catalogue of unfortunate events, including witnessing a relative’s murder, had led to her abusing drugs and this “entirely out of character behaviour”.

He said she had shown genuine remorse for her involvement and for the shame it had caused her family, whose ongoing support had enabled her to move away from negative influences and drugs.

The court heard that Dann had 49 previous convictions, including a number for violence and theft.

Goodwin had 21 previous convictions, including assault and robbery, and at the time of the robbery was out on licence for an assault.

Dann was sentenced to 45 months in custody, Goodwin to 54 months and Hepple 27 months – less 63 days in lieu of time spent on a tagged curfew.

Dann and Goodwin were both given six penalty points on their driving licences for associated motoring offences.

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