North East Wales

KFC chef Nigel Grey jailed for Denbighshire robbery

A chef who planned a robbery at a KFC restaurant in Denbighshire where he worked has been jailed for seven years.

Nigel Grey, 43, of Rhyl, organised the raid and phoned the actual robber.

Ben Kennedy, 21, also of Rhyl, jumped through a drive-through window and sprayed a pregnant duty manager and another worker with pepper spray.

He was jailed for five years at Mold Crown Court and his stepfather John Kennedy, 45, who acted as the getaway driver, for four years.

Balaclava

The court heard Grey, who worked at the restaurant in Rhuddlan, planned the robbery and arranged to phone Ben Kennedy with three rings on his mobile when the time was right.

He had made sure the window was left unsecured.

Wearing a balaclava, goggles and dark clothing, Kennedy entered the restaurant on Saturday, 6 March 2010 after it had closed.

Both Grey and Kennedy senior had denied the conspiracy but were convicted at an earlier hearing.

Prosecutor David Mainstone said that assistant manager Aneta Niemiro, who was six months pregnant, was still working with other members of staff.

Handfuls of money

Ben Kennedy discharged the pepper spray in the confined office where she was cashing up and demanded money.

Mrs Niemiro experienced a burning sensation and found it difficult to breathe.

Kennedy grabbed handfuls of money from the desk and escaped with £2,300.

Despite her condition, she tried to stop him and there was a scuffle.

Ben Kennedy was pursued by several members of staff across the KFC car park.

He jumped into the back of his stepfather's getaway van.

Judge Philip Hughes said it was fortunate that Mrs Niemiro and her unborn baby came to no harm.

"This conspiracy involved considerable planning and organisation and produced a scheme of some sophistication," he said.

North Wales Police have welcomed the sentences.

Det Con Ian Davies said: "The three men involved in this crime planned and carried out their attack without any regard for the possible consequences of their actions.

"They were all fully aware that Mrs Niemiro was heavily pregnant and that she would have been cashing up when the robbery took place.

"Mrs Niemiro showed courage that night. I would also like to thank the other members of staff at the KFC and all members of the public who assisted in this investigation."

Mrs Niemiro said: "All I have wanted is for those responsible to be punished for what they did.

"I just hope that people see what has happened and that anyone thinking of getting involved in this type of crime will see that it is just not worth it."

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