Caught on camera: Moment thug pulled a gun … for cans of lager
George Banister has been jailed for gunpoint raid at a shop in Fenham and a series of other brutal attacks, including one where his teenage victim hung herself hours later
Pointing a gun as he threatens to shoot a terrified shopkeeper, violent serial thug George Banister is caught on camera.
Banister pulled the weapon in a Newcastle shop for the sake of a few cans of beer.
The 19-year-old had already assaulted a vulnerable teenager who later the same day killed herself, thrown ammonia at another victim and bit a police officer.
Now the dangerous thug has been locked up for six years after admitting robbery and a series of other assaults.
After carrying out the armed raid at a store in the West End of Newcastle, Banister even boasted about it on Facebook and posed wearing a mask and holding the gun.
Sending him to a young offender institution, Judge Brian Forster QC told him: “You pulled an imitation weapon and threatened to shoot the shop owner and you later boasted about it on Facebook.
“The courts have to protect local shopkeepers and deter people from behaving in the way you behaved.
“You answer for terrifying repeated acts of violence and you show no regard for other members of the community.”
Newcastle Crown Court heard Banister and a 17-year-old went into Fenham Discount Store around 5pm on August 9.
The youth helped himself to a pack of 24 cans of lager and left the shop.
Banister then came in, pointing a gun wrapped in a plastic bag at shopkeeper Mohammed Rafiq and threatening to shoot him.
Mr Rafiq bravely chased the armed raider out of his store but was unable to get the stolen beer back.
Caroline McGuirk, prosecuting, said: “The defendant threatened to shoot the shop owner, who nevertheless pursued him.
“Mr Rafiq said he was very scared when the weapon was pointed at him but he felt he couldn’t let them get away with it so he chased them.
“He says the incident has caused him a lot of stress, harassment and fear.”
Two hours after the robbery Banister was bragging on Facebook about having committed it, wearing a mask and posing with the BB gun he used in the raid.
In an earlier outbreak of violence, last January Banister assaulted Abigail Pollard, who hours later tragically hanged herself.
Abigail had been fighting with another woman outside Switch bar, in Newcastle, when Banister waded in, attacking both.
He punched the other woman in the face twice then dragged Abigail across the road and kicked and stamped on her head.
Miss McGuirk said: “Later that day she hanged herself. She visited a place where a family member had committed suicide a year before and, using the same tree, she hanged herself.
“There is no direct evidence to say this assault contributed but it can’t have helped her state of mind.”
As reported in the Chronicle, Abigail, 17, hanged herself from the same tree as her brother Dean, near their mum’s home in Brunswick Village, Newcastle.
In July Banister got involved in another fight between two women which had nothing to do with him, this time on Adair Avenue, Benwell.
He racially abused one of the women, spat at her and punched her in the head.
When the other woman asked who he thought he was, Banister replied: “I’m George Banister, you have some ammonia”, and threw the burning substance in her face.
Banister was involved in more city centre violence in December last year when he and Dean Wilkinson attacked several men in an unprovoked attack outside Sinner’s Bar.
And while under arrest at North Tyneside police station, Banister bit a detention officer’s hand. Banister, of no fixed address, who already had 39 previous convictions, admitted robbery, possessing an imitation firearm, six assaults and racially aggravated assault. He was locked up for a total of six years.
Wilkinson, 23, of Firfield Road, Blakelaw, Newcastle, admitted four assaults and having a baton during the attack outside Sinner’s. He was jailed for 25 months.
The youth who stole the beer got an absolute discharge at magistrates court for theft.
The court heard Bannister was adopted and has had problems.