Hackney couple jailed in £2,500 Paddy Power robbery

A photo of Paddy Power in Hackney - by Ewan Munro on East London Lines

Pic: Ewan Munro.

A betting shop worker faked a robbery with her boyfriend to grab £2,500 from Paddy Power, a court heard.

Paulina Chrzanowska, 27, worked in the Mare Street branch of the bookmakers in Hackney and had the job of delivering the takings to the post office.

CCTV footage showed Chrzanowska and Hayden Noel, 31, arriving at the betting shop together on December 27, 2012 at the start of her shift.

He gambled for several hours while she worked, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

When she left the shop with a canvas bag filled with notes he followed her with his face covered.

Once she reached Amhurst Road, he knocked her to the floor outside the Amhurst Café before running off with the bag.

Tim Naylor, prosecuting, said: “She reported a robbery to the police before returning to her store for a short period of time before she left.”

She then crossed London to Mr Noel’s address, where she spent the night, the following day and the next evening with him.’

Chrzanowska told police she had never seen the man before and that she probably wouldn’t recognise him again.

Mr Naylor said: “She lied to police because she said she didn’t know the identity of the robber.

“It is the Crown’s case that she planned this incident with Mr Noel.

“As a result of her false statement the police were unable to recover any of the money stolen from Paddy Power.

“In any event, the police then invested a great deal of time in investigating this offence.”

The pair were not arrested until six months after the incident, and Noel absconded when he was released on police bail after his arrest.

Chrzanowska was cleared of theft following her trial on 17 July 2013.

She admitted she knew who the robber was all along and pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Noel was caught in January 2014 and admitted theft.

Noel, who has five children with another partner, has 13 previous convictions for 27 other crimes dating back to 2002 including theft, robbery, burglary and intimidating a witness.

Michael Conning, for Chrzanowska, said: “They had met some weeks previously, she had basically moved in with him, and he had already pressured her into taking out mobile phone contracts for him and pay day loans.”

He said his client had lied to police because she was intimidated by her boyfriend.

Sentencing Noel to two years in prison, Judge David Batcup said: “You used Ms Chrzanowska to steal £2,500, you were prepared even to push her to the ground to lend verisimilitude to your actions.”

“I sentence you, however, not for robbery but for theft – this was a clear abuse of the trust her employers had in her.”

Judge Batcup jailed Chrzanowska for three months.

He said: “I’m afraid only a custodial sentence is appropriate, as a result of her claiming not to know who the robber was a great deal of police time was used up.

“Had she told the police the truth I expect she wouldn’t have been charged with anything at all.”

Chrzanowska, of Napier Road, Enfield, sobbed as she was led to the cells.

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