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12 years jail for knife robber trapped after DNA found on beer can

A bully who tormented members of a Birmingham community with a series of knifepoint robberies – including five raids on the same shop – has been jailed for 12 years after West Midlands Police trapped him from saliva found on a beer can.

Tyrone Dorsett (pictured) struck five times at the Bangla Bazaar convenience store in Leonard Road, Lozells, between 29 December last year and 16 January.

Each time Dorsett – who wore a mask during the offences – threatened the shopkeeper with a large knife before making off with cash and packets of cigarettes.

Tyrone Dorsett - robber jailed for 12 years
Tyrone Dorsett - robber jailed for 12 years

He also fled with takings from shops in Burbury Street and Selston Road, Lozells, on 26 and 27 January – the latter despite being tackled by two brave female staff members who fought in vane to stop him grabbing the till.

But crucially detectives seized CCTV showing him drinking from and discarding a beer can moments before the Burbury Street robbery; it was swiftly recovered by local officers and when forensically examined returned a DNA hit to Dorsett.

Proactive police patrols were carried out in and around Newtown shopping centre – where personal robberies had been reported by member of the public – and on 5 February he was spotted and arrested following a violent struggle.

Enquiries showed the 34-year-old had been living in Inkerman Tower, Newtown, and a search of a flat revealed two knives, a balaclava, stolen passport and a distinctive grey top with a torn hem that CCTV showed the knifeman wearing during several raids.

He went on to admit a total of 15 robberies and one count of assault with intent to rob between 10 November and 5 February – and at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday (20 July) was jailed for 12 years.

Investigating officer, PC Sherrie Watkins from the force’s High Harm & Vulnerability Team, said: “Dorsett is a dangerous man…a bully who thinks nothing about carrying a knife in public and using it to threaten vulnerable people. 

“In addition to the shop robberies we discovered he’d committed four robberies against the same 66-year-old man in Newtown. The fearful victim moved out of his flat and went to stay with a friend – but was robbed again after being tracked down by Dorsett. 

“We knew the offences were linked but had no idea Dorsett was living locally and witnesses could only describe him as ‘T’ – his nickname. Our breakthrough came with the DNA return on the beer can.

“I’m glad the court has noted the severity of these incidents and handed him a lengthy jail sentence. People need to know understand carrying a knife in public, irrespective of whether it’s used to injure, is likely to lead to imprisonment.”

Enquiries also showed that Dorsett was responsible for an assault on a postman in Markford Walk, Newtown, on 10 November after climbing into his delivery van, producing a flick-knife and demanding money.

He also snatched a purse from a woman in Melbourne Avenue, Newtown on 6 January and robbed a Good Samritan in New Town Row, at midday on 5 February who’d initially gone to help Dorsett after seeing him trip in the street. 


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