Michael Conlon – Youngest Colonel Case

A former high-ranking army officer who attacked a pregnant woman in a bungled armed robbery has been jailed for seven years.

Ex-Lieutenant Colonel Philip Grimes, 51, of Great Brickhill, Buckinghamshire, threatened the woman with a knife, pushed her to the ground and demanded keys to the safe during a post office attack.

But the woman, who was four months pregnant, lashed out at Grimes and he fled empty-handed.

Luton Crown Court heard Grimes had tricked his way into a post office in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, with forged security passes, claiming he was an investigations officer.

The court heard he was restrained by other post office staff and members of the public as he fled.

A stun gun, detailed plans of the raid and ideas on how to launder the money were found in Grimes’s BMW car which was parked nearby with a fake registration plate.

Grimes pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to attempted robbery and possession of a Tazer gun.

Jailing Grimes, Judge Geoffrey Breen said the offence was so serious that only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

“It was carefully and meticulously planned and prepared for over the course of a period of months.

“In the course of the robbery you violently attacked a lone woman.” He added that Grimes should pay £750 in compensation to the office manager.

Grimes, who joined the army when he was 19, served for 29 years in the military postal department.

His barrister Michael Conlon told the court that at 36, Grimes became the youngest person to reach the post of Lieutenant Colonel.

(Article written by BBC News. full credit to the author)

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Michael Conlon represents premiership player

TOON star Danny Simpson today laid bare his secret torment and revealed his fears for his new-born baby daughter.

The Newcastle United full back opened his heart when he appeared in court on a speeding charge.

Standing in the dock at the city’s magistrates court he  revealed how his girl Skye has just been released from intensive care after being born three months prematurely. She suffers from a bowel disorder which needs regular medical attention meaning the star has to make mercy dashes.

He said the whole situation has placed enormous strain on his relationship with partner Stephanie. First team right back choice Simpson also dropped the bombshell in court that he fears he will be sold by the Magpies soon. Revealing his agony over his daughter, Simpson, of Darras Hall, Ponteland, said: “It’s been tough for both of us. “Our baby girl came out of hospital a few weeks ago but then she caught a virus and had to go back in. “She came out on Friday but we have to take her to hospital at least twice a week. “She’s still only seven and a half pounds and has problems feeding.”

Referring to his relationship with Stephanie, he went on: “She has problems feeding. My partner can’t just get up in the morning and feed her and take me to training. “With everything going on we have been arguing a lot, there’s things we need to work on but it’s not about us. It’s about our little girl.”

Simpson said in terms of his future at Newcastle, he was fully expecting to be put on the transfer list. He said: “There is a chance in the future that I will be moving, whether in the transfer window in January or in the summer.

“I have 18 months’ left on my contract and I don’t think it will go past that.”

He said if he is to travel all over the country to clubs potentially interested in him, he will find it difficult if he cannot drive.

He begged the bench not to ban him from the road despite admitting doing 48mph in a 30mph zone and already having nine penalty points on his licence.

Simpson was caught by a speed camera driving his Audi on Benton Lane near the club’s training ground on April 13. He admitted the charge but the player who had nine points on his licence for three motoring offences including a speeding offence in May 2008, claimed “exceptional hardship”.

When asked by prosecutor Fiona Varley if he could not hire a chauffeur, Simpson replied: “I don’t see a chauffeur as an option because they cost a lot of money.

“I’d have to rely on teammates and taxis.

“I earn less money than most Premiership players although I am on good money.”

Prosecutor Fiona Varley asked: “How do you travel to away matches?”

Simpson replied: “Most away games are down south so we usually fly. But we make our own way to the airport. I drive to the airport.”

Ms Varley suggested to Simpson that he could get a taxi or a lift from teammates to the airport and he replied, “yes I could”.

Simpson said: “I have to get to training and back and with the possibility of me moving (clubs) I will have to travel to new clubs wherever it might be.”

When his barrister Michael Conlon put it to him that he’s no Wayne Rooney in terms of his salary, Simpson replied, “No I’m not. The money I’ve got I want to invest for the future”.

Simpson sat with his head in his hands as magistrates gave him four points for the speeding offence, meaning under totting up procedure he was banned from driving for six months.

But Mr Conlon said his client was appealing against the ban, so the disqualification was suspended pending an appeal at crown court.

Simpson was also ordered to pay a fine of £333, prosecution costs of £30 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Stars, cars & driving bans

FORMER Newcastle United captain Kevin Nolan was banned from the roads after being clocked doing 65mph in a 30mph zone.

The ex-Toon midfielder was snapped speeding in his Range Rover also on Benton Lane, in Longbenton – the same road as Simpson was caught on – in May last year.

In April this year the 28-year-old, of Darras Hall, Ponteland, was banned from the roads for 60 days, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £2,731 costs.

He appealed against the ban but then withdrew his appeal just hours before the hearing in June – having already served the two-month ban.

Nolan was criticised by a crown court judge for “wasting court time” and was handed an additional £415 costs.

Toon striker Peter Lovenkrands was also caught speeding on the same road last year after he drove at speeds of up to 60mph near to the club’s training ground in his £50,000 Audi RS4.

But the 30-year-old escaped a ban after the court heard he had an “exemplary” driving record and that was his first ever offence during 10 years of driving in the UK.

He was given six penalty points and fined £670.

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