The life and crimes of gunman Alan Levers
THE masked gunman who lost his life inside a city bookmakers was no stranger to crime, writes Crime Reporter Carl Eve.
Cuttings taken from past editions of The Herald reveal Alan Levers had convictions going back to 1976 – when he was just 13.
A crown court report from February 2010 showed how Levers had committed a strikingly similar armed robbery at the Costcutters store on Mutley Plain in December the previous year.
The initial story, which made the front page on December 5, 2009, explained how two men, one wearing a scarf over his face and another with a hoodie entered the store. One man pulled out a pistol and levelled it at the female shop assistant's face.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The court report named Levers as that man, revealing he had pointed it first at her body and then her face, ordering her to open the till.
Prosecutor Lee Brembridge told the court the woman was "terrified she would be killed".
When a male supervisor came out of the office, he too had the gun pointed at his face by Levers.
Around £600 was snatched from the till before the robbers left, leaving the female shop assistance to break down into tears.
Levers was later identified in a line up and from the shop's CCTV.
He had been arrested the following day as he left his home, carrying the clothes he'd worn for the robbery and the gun – later found to be an imitation firearm – dismantled and carried in a plastic bag.
Mr Brembridge said the assistant had no idea at the time that the gun was a fake.
He went on to note how Levers, who then lived in Lipson, had convictions for burglary and assault stretching back to 1976.
He had also been jailed for 42 months in 2006 for burglary.
His advocate told the court Levers had been released in November 2008 and was on a reducing methadone prescription.
However, he had by then replaced heroin with alcohol, and had a significant drink problem.
He noted how Levers – who initially denied he had been in the store, but had later pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing the imitation firearm – had been shocked at the impact of his actions and had written to the female shop worker.
His advocate said Levers was gaining an education in jail and was described as a thoroughly decent and helpful inmate.
However, Judge Francis Gilbert QC said the robbery was more serious because it had happened at night, at a small business, was planned and involved disguise and a weapon.
He said he had intended his victim to believe the gun was real to make her open the till, and she had been terrified. He then sentenced Levers to a total of four years and three months.
It is understood Levers had re-entered civilian life sometime last year.
He had recently signed up to Facebook and gathered friends and family around him.
In his latest posts, he proudly expressed his love for his partner Julie, calling her his "heart and soul and my soulmate". Levers also spoke of his affection for his sister.
However, for reasons that may never be known, on Friday he made the fatal decision to re-enact the same crime he committed in late 2009 – despite the lengthy jail sentence he knew he would face if caught.