Louis Crosby demanded money from a Sunderland shop after losing out to an online scam
A husband-to-be tried to rob a shop with a gun when he lost money saved for his wedding in a cryptocurrency con.
Student Louis Crosby, 25, “naively” converted his savings into digital cash before he was scammed, a court heard.
On 27 November, shortly after learning the money had gone, he went to a shop in Sunderland and demanded cash but was foiled when staff fought back.
Crosby, of Portobello Road, was jailed for two years after admitting attempted robbery and possessing a firearm.
The sentence was suspended for two years by a judge who said Crosby was plunged into a “crisis” by the cryptocurrency “disaster”.
Grabbed at gun
Newcastle Crown Court heard Crosby walked into the Premier shop on St Luke’s Road, at about 22:50 GMT and told staff “give me the money, I have a gun”.
The store owner and a worker put up an “astonishing” fight, knocked the weapon out of Crosby’s hand and detained him until the police arrived.
The worker approached Crosby despite the gun being pointed at him, the court heard.
Crosby hid his face with a scarf and sunglasses during the attempted raid
The shop worker grabbed at the gun – an unloaded air pistol – and managed to knock it out of Crosby’s hand, who then tried to escape.
When arrested Crosby claimed “it was a joke”, the court heard.
Crosby was an undergraduate who was due to marry a Singaporean national he had met online.
Nicholas Lane, defending, said: “He had somewhat naively invested his savings he needed for a wedding dowry and for his rent into cryptocurrency and he himself had been scammed.
“In clearly a moment when he wasn’t thinking straight he took up an air pistol, which he had bought off the internet, and committed this offence.”
Brave shop staff fought back in defence and detailed Crosby until police arrived
Judge Julie Clemitson accepted the offender’s “shame and remorse” were genuine.
A doctor who assessed Crosby, who has a history of mental health problems, deemed the offence was an “impulsive” response to his losses.
“You must have been in a state of crisis to have acted in such a desperate manner, with thoughts swinging from taking your own life to committing financial crime to get yourself out of the situation,” the judge said.
During sentencing on Thursday, Judge Clemitson said Crosby must have been in “mental turmoil”, which was triggered by being a victim of crime and losing the money he had worked hard to save.
He will also face rehabillition requirements and a 12-month curfew.