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Men admit carrying out violent robbery
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TWO men have admitted carrying out a series of robberies, including a violent raid on a Caversham newsagents.

Aaron Coaker, 27, of Belmont Road, West Reading, and Simon Asher, 30, of Juniper Way, Tilehurst, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to burgle between January 1 and 31 when they appeared at Reading Crown Court on Monday.

The charges cover a series of smash-and-grab raids in the area throughout that month.

The men were captured by CCTV cameras during the raid on Smith’s News, in Gosbrook Road, when they attacked shop assistant Rirathaparam Varatharaja.

The footage shows Mr Varatharaja, 27, sweeping the floor when the pair burst through the front entrance. One of the men hit him over the head with what appears to be a hammer.

He is then dragged into the aisle while the men vault the counter, force open the till and fill a holdall with £750 cash and about 3,500 cigarettes.

Mr Varatharaja was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, where he was given 14 stitches in a cut to his head.

Four days earlier, the pair drove a car through the plate glass windows of a Tesco Express store in Buckingham Drive, Emmer Green, escaping with bottles of spirits.

The following day they attacked a 52-year-old man outside the Murco station in Henley Road, Caversham.

The victim was knocked out and his keys were taken and money and cigarettes were taken from the shop.

On January 21, the pair raided the Tesco supermarket off Portman Road, Reading. They smashed a car through the doors before stealing cigarettes. They were remanded in custody and will be sentenced on January 20.

To see the footage of the raid on Smith’s News, visit www.henleystandard.co.uk


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