Couple who carried out armed raid on convenience store caught when woman's own mother shops her to police

  • James Clewes, 32, and partner Bernadette Chapman, 27, raided shop in Bury, Greater Manchester
  • But they were caught when Chapman's mother told police after confession
  • They terrified cashier when they demanded money at knifepoint
  • Brave customer confronted them and tried to stop them escaping
  • Clewes got nearly four years in jail, while Chapman was sentenced to almost three years

By Daily Mail Reporter


A knife-wielding couple who raided a shop have been jailed after one of their own mothers shopped them to police.

James Clewes and his partner, Bernadette Chapman, stormed a Best One convenience store carrying a blade each.

Clewes held the terrified cashier at knifepoint and demanded cash while Chapman stuffed the money into a bag along with stolen cigarettes.

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MEN SYNDICATION.. Pic shows James Clewes, of Bury, Greater Manchester, who carried out an armed robbery with Bernadette Chapman..
MEN SYNDICATION.. Pic shows Bernadette Chapman, of Bury, Greater Manchester, who carried out an armed robbery with James Clewes...

Behind bars: James Clewes, 32, and Bernadette Chapman, 27, have been jailed after holding up a convenience store at knifepoint

They fled the scene but, within a couple of hours, 27-year-old Chapman confessed what she had done to her mother, who immediately called police.


The pair were arrested later that day at a nearby pub and have now been jailed following a hearing at Bolton Crown Court.

Clewes, 32, of Bond Street, Bury, Greater Manchester, was sentenced to three years and four months behind bars after admitting robbery, possessing a bladed article and two counts of threatening a member of public with a bladed article.

Bernadette Chapman, also of Bond Street, was jailed for two years and six months after admitting robbery and possessing a bladed article.


Detective Constable Mick Yates said: 'Clewes and Chapman armed themselves with knives and used the threat of violence to terrify staff at the shop.

'By their own admissions it was a desperate act.

'It seems the reality of what they had just done quickly dawned on them and Chapman in particular was quick to confess.

'Faced with this revelation and an extremely difficult decision to make, credit must go to Bernadette Chapman's mother, who without hesitation called the police.'

Clewes and Chapman raided the shop, in Bury, just after 7am on Thursday, May 23.

As they tried to escape through the front door following the robbery, a member of the public tried to hold the door shut from the outside.

After failing to get out through the back, the couple returned to the front and smashed a glass panel before running off.

They were later linked to the crime through clothes recovered during a search of their house.

Det Con Mick Yates said: 'I must reserve special praise for the witness who saw this robbery in action and bravely did everything he could to stop them escaping from the shop.'

He added that this member of the public and Chapman's mother showed that 'there are members of our community who will not sit by and watch something criminal happen and who will not sit back in the knowledge that someone is responsible for such offences and do nothing'.

He added: 'They have proven that the police and the public can work together side by side to bring criminals to justice.'

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Its drugs that drive, shop lifting then progress to robbery, money owed more like. A way of life, they look that way for a reason. Yes mum done the right thing, to help her daughter maybe, only time will tell.

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I coulnt grass on my family, it would be unthinkable no matter what the charge!

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That took great courage from the mother. She was placed in one of the most difficult positions a parent could find themselves in and made the absolute correct decision.

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Armed robbery and they get a couple of years (real time) in prison. So much for all the hot air from the politicians about getting tough on criminals. The mother should get an award.

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Again disparity amongst sexes when sentencing. Why?

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Well done Mum. Yours is the last face I expect anyone would have seen saying ''why did they send my daughter home from school for spraying her hair green, she still has a brain''. You Madam did a great thing, my only hope is that your daughter learns from you, and does not turn on you, but either way, bloody well done.

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Two more heroin addicts. That's 6 from Manchester in two days.

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very brave of her mother !!! WELL DONE I WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME !!!

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Good. Well done Mum.

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Well done mummy

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