Clitheroe masked robber recognised by ‘mum-in-law’

Karen Brown of Clitheroe, Lancs., ''Thomas Temple/
Karen Brown of Clitheroe, Lancs., ''Thomas Temple/

An armed robber has been branded Britain’s doziest criminal after he held up a store and was recognised by a staff member – his ex “mother-in-law”.

Hapless Kyle Iveson (24) burst into a convenience shop brandishing a 12-inch knife and demanded cash.

He immediately realised the terrified shop worker was his former mum-in-law Karen Brown – so changed his voice as he asked for money.

Iveson fled with £650 but Karen, the mum of his ex-partner and the grandmother of his daughter, rang police and reported him.

He was jailed after pleading guilty to the robbery and for being in possession of a bladed article at the Thoroughgoods shop in Clitheroe.

Speaking outside court, Mrs Brown (54) said: “He was shouting and swearing and straight away I knew it was him.

“He was one of those people who has a certain type of walk and although he had a scarf around his face and his hood up, I recognised him a mile off.

“He was holding the knife up at me, demanding that I opened the till. I think it was half personal and half to line his pockets but he’s stupid and he thought I wouldn’t know it was him.”

Neil Basarya (prosecuting) showed CCTV images to the court, which showed Iveson how entered the shop and pointed the kitchen knife at Mrs Brown.

He described her in court as the “former mother-in-law and grandmother of his child”.

Iveson could be seen covering the bottom half of his face as he approached the till, holding the large blade up in the air.

Mr Basarya said: “She (Mrs Brown) was in a state of panic and attempted to open the till. The till was opened and a large amount of notes were taken by Iveson.

“At one point he dropped some to the floor and collected them before exiting the shop, still holding the knife up.”

The court heard how Mrs Brown had known him for a number of years since he and her daughter had been in a 12-month relationship and had a daughter together. Mr Basarya said Iveson also tried to lower his voice so Mrs Brown would not

realise it was him. In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Mrs Brown described Iveson as extremely aggressive and she said she feared him more because she knew who he was.

She said her life had changed as a result of the robbery as she has to work on her own, and has been left feeling vulnerable when in the company of hooded or rowdy customers.

“All I want is my life back how it was and then I hope I can return to a normal and happy life,” she said.”

Adam Lodge (defending) said he had been hooked on heroin at the time and he had committed the robbery to fund his habit.

Mr Lodge said: “There is some degree of remorse and he does mention that this incident would have been petrifying for her, but mentions she was not the specific target.”

Judge Jonathan Gibson jailed Iveson for three years, telling him: “You had a long kitchen knife and you used that knife to point towards the lady who was serving in the shop.

“Not surprisingly, the offence has had a very significant impact on her.”

The judge also imposed a restraining order on Iveson, preventing him from contacting Mrs Brown in any way.

Following the case, grandmother-of-one Mrs Brown slammed the sentence as “not long enough”.

She said: “It was terrifying for me and it has ruined my life. It’s no comfort at all knowing he will be out again in no time.

“I wish I could say he will change but I know he won’t. He picked the shop because he knew I would be working, he knew my shift patterns.

“He came in 15 minutes after I’d started my shift that night, and it made it worse for me knowing who it was because I didn’t think he would stop at anything.

“My daughter’s relationship with him was a mistake and we try not to have anything to do with him. I have my granddaughter out of it and I wouldn’t change her for the world, but otherwise I wish he didn’t exist.

“He used to take great pleasure in grinning and taunting us when he saw us but we tried to ignore him and not let him get to us.

“I’m not surprised he did something like this.”

Mrs Brown, who also has a son, relived the moment Iveson waved the knife at her, leaving her fearing for her life.

“He just came at it with me, he was holding it in the air,” she said. “He came round the side of the counter and he had the knife at the side of me.He was trying to get the till open and he kept saying ‘you’d better get that

till open now’, and calling me a ‘b****’.

“I was determined not to let him know it was me, I just kept saying ‘calm down,

calm down’. “I’m still very nervous but I’m determined not to let him ruin my life. I’m getting better but sometimes I just have to stand back and think ‘it’s alright’.”