Woman who lived as a fugitive in Ireland for two decades is finally jailed

Woman who lived as a fugitive in Ireland for two decades is finally jailed

A WOMAN who attempted to rob a petrol station 20 years ago has finally been jailed for her crime after living as a fugitive in Ireland.

Mother of three, Naomi Mothersoul, 54, and her then-partner Colin Ashman, 43, were captured by police after the "frightening" knife incident at a Somerset petrol station in 1994, but they fled to Ireland whilst on bail.

The warrants for their arrests were left outstanding for two decades.

A detective sergeant who had previously investigated the case as a police constable decided to finally bring the pair to justice as a last operation before retirement.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued for Mothersoul and she was extradited back to the UK earlier this year, while Ashman was detained after attempting to enter the UK via a South Wales port.

Judge Michael Roach handed Ashman a five year prison sentence in September, while Mothersoul received an 18-month term yesterday.

"When you were 34 you were party, with Colin Ashman, to the attempted robbery of a filling station in Easton-in-Gordano," the judge told Mothersoul.

"After your arrest, you fled the jurisdiction. It was only after extradition proceedings this year that you were brought back and pleaded guilty to the offence you committed."

Bristol Crown Court was told that Mothersoul, a charity shop volunteer, and Ashman had arrived at Markham Filling Station on a motorbike on the morning of the incident.

John Caines, owner of the station for 32 years, filled up the motorbike for the couple as asked before waiting for payment.

Ashman unexpectedly pulled a flick knife and headed towards Mr Caines, who ran back to the petrol station building and lock himself inside.

Mr Caines was able to note the registration number of the motorbike and phoned the police, who then chased the pair eventually arrested them.

Ashman and Mothersoul were held in custody for a week before being released on police bail pending a court appearance, but they fled to Ireland.

Prosecutor Richard Posner said that after his arrest 20 years on, Ashman admitted charges of robbery and attempted robbery this year and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Mothersoul pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery and not guilty to a charge of robbery.

Her neighbours in Tralee, Co. Kerry, where she was living in a council house with her son and two daughters were last night shocked to learn that Mothersoul would be jailed for a crime from her secret past.