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Whiskey-loving robber jailed for 10 years for raiding Runcorn shops loses appeal
A JACK Daniels-loving robber failed in his bid to clear his name for his role in convenience store raids in Runcorn.
Anton Jordan Kost, aged 32, from Speke, was jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to rob in July 2012.
The scheme involved a string of similar raids, mainly targeting Co-op stores between October and December 2011.
Alcohol, cigarettes and cash were targeted, and the mainly female members of staff present were left terrified by their ordeals.
Appealing against his conviction at the Court of Appeal Kost's legal team complained that he had been found guilty on the back of only ‘circumstantial evidence’.
Among the pieces of evidence pointed to by the prosecution was Kost's apparent liking for Jack Daniels, which was one of the products targeted in one of the robberies.
A picture on his Facebook profile showed Kost with a bottle of the spirit, providing support for the claim he was one of the robbers, the jury had been told.
His lawyers argued that the material, together with other exhibits and mobile phone and number plate recognition evidence, was not sufficient to allow a safe guilty verdict.
The crown court judge should, therefore, have stopped his trial before the jury even got to consider whether he was guilty or not.
But appeal judge, Mr Justice Burton, sitting with Lady Justice Macur and Judge Richard Griffith-Jones, said there was enough evidence to let the jury decide for themselves.
"They had before them a significant number of different strands, which the judge left to them and which the jury was entitled to look at," he said.
"We are satisfied that there was no basis on which this appellant can complain that the circumstantial evidence was not sufficient to be left to the jury."
The appeal was dismissed.