Two squaddies admitted robbing newsagents & off licences while serving in Queen’s elite guards

Two squaddies have admitted robbing newsagents and off licences at gunpoint while serving in the Queen’s elite guards.

The men from 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, who wear bearskin hats when on duty guarding Her Majesty, were arrested by the Flying Squad last month.

The pair were based at the Grenadiers’ Lille barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire – the Army’s most senior infantry regiment.

Elnur Bracegirdle, 20, and Dillon Sharpe, 22, targeted newsagents and off-licenses in Brixton Streatham, Tulse Hill and West Norwood in south London.

During the robberies cash and on one occasion Lottery scratch cards were stolen.

Some of the robberies took place on the same day with multiple shops targeted.

Sharpe, from Tulse Hill, admitted two counts of attempted robbery and three counts of robbery at Kingston Crown Court today.

Two of the robberies occurred on the same day, the court heard.

He also pleaded to four counts of possessing imitation firearms during the robberies, on February 9, 10, and 12 of last year.

During the latest robbery on January 10 this year, Sharpe admitted having an ‘electronic shock device’ also known as a ‘stun gun’ which is a prohibited weapon.

According to the charges, the stun gun was ‘disguised as a torch’.

He denied further charges covering robberies where he allegedly used an imitation firearm with a third defendant Kristopher James-Merrill, 19, in July.

Two robberies and an attempted robbery were said to have taken place on July 24, one robbery on July 25 and three attempted robbery on July 26.

Bracegirdle of Preston in Lancashire admitted one count of robbery on January 10 this year and having a knife during the incident.

He denies one count of possessing a prohibited weapon – a stun gun.

James-Merrill of Brixton denies three counts of robbery, four counts of attempted robbery and seven counts of possessing an imitation firearm alongside Sharpe on July 24, 25, and 26.

Judge Georgina Kent set a date for the trial, which is expected to last two weeks.

Bracegirdle and Sharpe were remanded into custody while James-Merrill was bailed and will next appear for his trial at Kingston Crown Court in July.

By Adela Whittingham

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