Teens plead guilty to attempted heist at liquor store

| 21/08/2011

(CNS): Two teenage boys pleaded guilty to two accounts of attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm on Friday and were remanded in custody until their sentence hearing next month. Jonathan Welcome (17) and Jordon Powell (18) admitted attempting to rob the Blackbeard’s store in Grand Harbour, as well as Charles Ebanks, one of the men who helped apprehend the teens on 2 May this year after their foiled liquor store heist. The teenagers also pleaded guilty to having an imitation single barrel shotgun and possession of pepper spray. Powell also admitted his guilt in assaulting Charles Ebanks when he sprayed the pepper at him during a struggle outside the shop.

The two boys pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder however, which had been laid against them but one which the crown stated in Grand Court last week that it would not be pursuing given the report filed by a ballistics expert in the case.

The teenagers had failed to rob Blackbeard’s liquor store when staff refused to give them money and the two would-be robbers were then confronted by members of the public outside the store. It was originally claimed by the prosecution that one of the boys had attempted to fire the shotgun, which was reportedly loaded, during the struggle. However, the gun did not go off and by all indications to the court the weapon was not capable of firing.

The incident had generated considerable publicity after the men outside the store had struggled with the young would-be robbers and disarmed them. The boys had then used pepper spray and then made their escape. Charles Ebanks, Edward Azan and Ray MacGuire chased down the teenagers and caught up with them not far from the store and held them until police arrived at the scene. They were lauded after the event as local heroes.

Following the teens’ guilty pleas the judge ordered a social enquiry report and adjourned the case until 30 September for sentencing.

Category: Crime

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