Armed robbers who shot shopkeeper with BB gun jailed

CCTV of the robbery being committed in Strood. Credit: Kent Police

Armed robbers who were involved in an offence which saw metal pellets fired into the face of a Strood shopkeeper have been jailed for a combined total of 20 years.

Faustas Demidovas and Vaidas Jankauskas targeted a newsagent in February 2020. They left with no more than £200 in cash after a member of staff was shot in the face with a BB gun.

During the robbery Fausta Demidovas fired three pellets at the shopkeeper's face. Credit: Kent Police

Jankauskas admitted his role in the offence but Demidovas pleaded not guilty.

He also denied committing a second armed robbery which took place in Dartford during the same month. 

He was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday the 21st of April 2021. 

  • CCTV of the robbery

Both men were part of a group that targeted a newsagent in Bligh Way, Strood, shortly before 11pm on the 21st of February.

During the robbery, Demidovas fired three pellets into the victim's face before an accomplice reached over the counter and removed money from the till. 

The victim sustained facial injuries which required hospital treatment.

The robbers fled the shop before splitting into two different vehicles. A BMW and a Citroen. Credit: Kent Police

Although the men had their faces covered, police officers were however able to establish that they had left the scene in a Citroen C3 and a blue BMW.

Around 45 minutes later, both vehicles were captured on CCTV at a petrol station in Pelham Road South, Gravesend.

The victims had every reason to believe the weapons being pointed at them were real guns and one of them had to go through the trauma of having it used against them. 'Both offenders are a very clear danger to the public and I am pleased that this has been reflected by the sentences imposed

Detective Constable Rob Sircar, Kent Police

Demidovas, who had changed clothes since the offence had taken place, arrived in the BMW. The same car was stopped by the Metropolitan Police in Hillingdon, London, several hours later.

He was detained and has been held on remand since.

Jankauskas was detained in early March after Kent Police identified him and carried out a warrant at his home.

Demidovas also committed an armed robbery against a newsagent in East Hill, Dartford, a week earlier and was identified from the shop's security footage.

  • Sentencing

Demidovas, 30, of Black Eagle Drive, Northfleet, was found guilty of two counts of robbery, two counts of possessing an imitation firearm to commit an indictable offence and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

He was sentenced to 13 years at Woolwich Crown Court on 21 April 2021.

Jankauskas, 30, of Kitchener Avenue, Gravesend, admitted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence. He also admitted driving while disqualified, and without insurance.

He was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court to seven years and nine months on 10 September 2020.