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Jail for Rampant Rabbit blagger

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A robber who held up a Leicester bookmaker's with his girlfriend's vibrator has been jailed for five years, the BBC reports.

Nicki Jex, 27, of Braunstone, Leicester, concealed the Rampant Rabbit in a carrier bag and, pretending it was a gun, held up Ladbrokes in Narborough Road on 27 December 2006. The manageress handed over £613 in cash when threatened, Leicester Crown Court heard.

As Jex attempted to make good his escape, he was followed by the shop's last remaining customer Wayne Vakani. Tim Palmer, prosecuting, said: "The defendant pointed the vibrator in the bag at Mr Vakani and warned him to back off. Mr Vakani then kept a discreet distance but kept an eye on the defendant and watched where he went."

The court heard that "it was thanks to this customer that the defendant's hat, worn during the robbery and containing his DNA, was discovered nearby".

Jex initially denied involvement, but later changed his plea. Phil Gibbs, defending, described Jex as a qualified chef and engineer, with a "fragile" state of mind, explaining: "One can be thankful that the item he had wasn't a firearm. Frankly, he didn't care less what happened to him at that time. He was falling into the abyss and that's the root cause of drugs."

Sentencing Jex to five years, Judge Philip Head noted: "It's right to record that you did not have a firearm but you pretended you had and intended that those you confronted believed that you did, and it must have been truly terrifying for them at the time."

Head also awarded Vakani £500 for his "very considerable courage". ®

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