Two people sentenced in relation to armed robbery in Maghera

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Two people involved in the armed robbery of Gort Filling Station on Church Street, Maghera in 2015 have today been sentenced at Bishop Street Crown Court, Londonderry.

Brian David Dean (51) pleaded guilty to robbery and illegal possession of ammunition. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment for robbery with half of the sentence to be served on licence. He also received a further four months for illegal possession of ammunition which is to run concurrently. Benjamin Mark Hagan (25) pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to two years imprisonment with half of the sentence to be served on licence.

The robbery, which involved a suspected handgun, left two members of staff shaken and resulted in the loss of cash and cigarettes. Both men and initially denied any involvement in the crime.

Detective Inspector Adrian Brown from PSNI's Terrorism Investigation Unit said: "I welcome today's sentences. Both men involved in this despicable crime acted in a dangerous manner and without thought for the two members of staff who were left badly shaken.

"Police were alerted to the robbery of the filling station in on 5 February 2015 after a member of staff activated a personal alarm. Police attended the scene and found that two men wearing masks, one armed with a firearm, had entered the premises and demanded money and cigarettes.

"Arrests were made fairly quickly after the robbery and our team have been working diligently since the offence alongside PPS colleagues to bring these criminals to justice. I'm welcoming the sentence of both men today. This is as a result of our investigation which resulted in the subsequent  successful prosecution, and is proof of our determination to keep people safe."