'Selfless' shop worker praised for 'bravery' in Portishead robbery ordeal
PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 January 2019
A Portishead shop worker who was targeted in a robbery has been praised for her ‘bravery and fortitude’ after the assailant was put behind bars.
Polly Shaw, aged 23, works at the Co-op in Avon Way and was on duty behind the counter last summer when Luke Goulding stormed the shop and claimed to have a weapon.
The 25-year-old threatened Ms Shaw and a colleague before leaping over the counter and stealing cigarettes at 6am on June 17.
Police reacted swiftly after being made aware of the theft and arrested Goulding as he fled the scene.
This month the assailant learned of his fate at Bristol Crown Court.
He was slapped with a 27-month jail sentence after being convicted of robbery by Judge Michael Longman on January 7.
After coping with the ‘panic’ and upset caused by the incident, Ms Shaw overcame her nerves to deliver her account of events in court – something police say she should be ‘proud’ of.
During the sentencing Judge Longman described Ms Shaw as ‘entirely professional and selfless’ and praised her for her ‘bravery and fortitude’.
Goulding, of Briary Road in Portishead, had denied the robbery but a jury saw through his lie and delivered a guilty verdict at a previous hearing.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary subsequently praised Ms Shaw for her resolve both during the incident and on the witness stand.
Detective Constable Mark Humphrey, the lead officer on the investigation, said the shop worker’s display of mettle in court helped secure Goulding’s conviction.
He added: “This young woman described herself as being ‘panicked’ during the incident and nervous about giving evidence in court.
“Her responses in the stand were confident and helped to secure this conviction.
“We are very grateful to Ms Shaw.
“Her colleagues, family and friends should be very proud of her.”
As a show of thanks for her bravery throughout the ordeal, Ms Shaw received letters of commendation from both the prosecuting barrister in the case, and from North Somerset Police Commander Chief Inspector Leanne Pook.