In Brief

13 July, 2007

Former rugby star convicted

A former Welsh rugby star has turned to burglary after injuries from a car crash ended his career. Former Wales A and Llanelli Scarlets player Dale Burn broke into a Spar supermarket in Blaenavon in south Wales and an off-licence in Worcester, escaping with cigarettes worth £4,637 in total, Newport magistrates heard. Police were able to trace Dale using his DNA as he'd cut his hand on broken glass during both burglaries. Burn is due to be sentenced at Newport Crown Court.

Winchester test purchases

Four out of six drinks shops in Winchester have passed test purchases carried out by Hampshire police. Southern Co-op in West Street, Alresford; Tesco Express in Broad Street, Alresford; Murco Petroleum in Bar End; and One Stop in Garbett Road, Winnall all passed. Two shops - One Stop in Battery Hill and Pickards on Stockbridge Road - failed the stings. Sergeant Karen Fisher of the community safety unit said: "We will continue to target premises that we suspect sell alcohol to under-age customers."

Surrey Thresher struck again

Robbers have targeted a branch of Thresher in Surrey for the fourth time in seven months. Two members of staff at the store in Beddington were threatened with knives during the raid on June 23, before the gang of five robbers ran off with £500. However, the cash was abandoned after one of the gang triggered a safety device and covered it in red dye. The door to the shop, which was raided in November, February and May, will now be magnetically locked after 9.30pm and only opened by staff on request.

Two "postmen" rob off-licence

Two robbers posed as postmen to dupe staff into letting them into an off-licence

in Maybury, Surrey, before it opened. The pair knocked on the back door of The Local just after 9.30am on July 2, before forcing their way in. They threatened staff with carving knives before raiding the safe and escaping with £4,500.

Shop staff in hammer attack

Two female shop workers were left traumatised after three men stomed a branch of Bargain Booze armed with a shotgun, baseball bat and hammer. The men made off with a "substantial amount of cash" from the shop on East Avenue, Rhosddu in Flintshire on July. Supervisor Carol Bird told the Flintshire Standard that one of the men had put a gun to the head of one of the workers.

Armed robber gets brush-off

A plucky Birmingham shopkeeper chased a gun-wielding robber from his off-licence, armed only with a broom handle. The 60-year-old owner of Kingsbridge Wines in Bartley Green hit the masked man over the back of the head and the shoulder as he reached for bank notes in the till. The robber fled with a small amount of cash. Detectives praised the man for his actions on July 9 but advised others not to put themselves in a dangerous position.

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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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