Robber admits spraying victim in face

By Crown Court correspondent in Crime

A robber has admitted spraying a noxious liquid into the face of a shop manager during a £5,000 cash snatch in a seaside town.

Rikky Ward has already pleaded guilty to taking part in the raid on victim Neil Warner but has now admitted being the man who sprayed the liquid into his eyes.

Mr Warner was walking from the Costcutter store in Dawlish with the day’s takings of £5,129.90 when he was attacked in The Strand, Dawlish, on January 30 this year.

Ward, aged 28, of Chatham Road, Sunderland, admitted robbery at a previous hearing at Exeter Crown Court and has now also admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Paul Rowntree, aged 36, originally from Sunderland, but who was staying at Exeter Road, Dawlish, denies both charges.

Ross Morton, aged 29, of Gatehouse Close, Dawlish, has denied assisting an offender by driving the two men to Torquay after the raid.

Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, adjourned Ward’s sentence until after their trial at Exeter later this year.