Easton-in-Gordano petrol robbers jailed 20 years later

A couple who tried to rob a petrol station near Bristol before escaping to Ireland together have been jailed almost 20 years after the crime.

Naomi Mothersoul, 54, of Wells, Somerset, and Colin Ashman, 43, were arrested in 1994 after the attack involving a knife in Easton-in-Gordano.

Bristol Crown Court heard they fled to County Kerry after being bailed.

Mothersoul was jailed for 18 months. Ashman was jailed for five years at an earlier hearing.

Arrest warrant

The court heard a police officer, Det Sgt Michael Porter, who had investigated the case as a police constable at the time, wanted to bring the pair to justice before his retirement.

A European Arrest Warrant was granted for Mothersoul and she was extradited back to the UK on 8 August.

Ashman was arrested last year when he was stopped trying to enter the UK at a port in South Wales.

The court heard the robbery took place on 16 September 1994 when the couple arrived at Markham Filling Station on a motorbike at about 11:30 BST.

Guilty pleas

The court was told station owner John Caines filled the bike with petrol and while he waited for payment Ashman "suddenly pulled a flick knife" and headed towards him. Mr Caines then ran back to the station building and locked himself inside.

Mr Caines took the registration number and phoned police who tracked the pair to the M5 motorway.

Judge Michael Roach, sentencing Mothersoul, said: "The person who took the dominant role in the attempted robbery was Mr Ashman and he produced a knife.

"After your arrest, you fled the jurisdiction. It was only after extradition proceedings this year that you were brought back and pleaded guilty to the offence you committed."

Mothersoul, a mother-of-three, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and not guilty to a charge of robbery which the court was told would lie on file.

Ashman admitted charges of robbery and attempted robbery and was sentenced to five years in prison by the court in September.

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