A 43-year-old man who threatened people at knife-point and made off with hundreds of pounds of cash has been jailed today (Thursday 21 September).
Marcus Laing, of Rodney Road, Bristol, appeared at Bristol Crown Court today after pleading guilty to three counts of robbery and three counts of being in possession of a bladed article.
During sentencing, HH Judge Picton referred to Laing as a ‘dangerous offender’ and passed an extended sentence of 14 years. Laing must spend nine years in prison, with an additional five years on licence.
The court heard how, on three different occasions in May this year, Laing entered two businesses and a home with a knife and made off with money.
The first incident was on Thursday 18 May, when Laing went into a convenience store on Forest Road, in Bristol.
He walked straight behind the counter and threatened a member of staff with a kitchen knife and demanded she open the till. He made off with cash and left the victim terrified.
He then struck again two days later on Saturday 20 May, when he attended a home in Burchells Green Close, Bristol. He threatened the occupant, a woman in her 30s, and made off with the money.
The final incident was on Tuesday 23 May when he went into a bank on Fishponds Road when it opened at 9.30am.
He walked up to two of the bank tellers, threatened them with a knife and demanded they open the tills. He made off on an e-scooter, leaving staff and customers terrified and causing the bank to close for the rest of the day.
It was on the day of the third robbery that officers had caught up with Laing.
Officer in the case, DC Laurence Castle from the Operation Remedy team, said: “The three robberies Laing committed were over a six-day period.
“They were terrifying ordeals for the victims and members of the public who witness them.
“Following the robberies, police were able to obtain CCTV of Laing returning to his home address after each incident and he was arrested during the evening of the third incident on Tuesday 23 May.
“Officers who searched Laing after his arrest found him in possession of distinctive Scottish banknotes which he had stolen earlier that day from the bank in Fishponds Road.
“While, thankfully, there were no injuries caused by Laing, his use of a knife to threaten innocent members of the east Bristol community, who were otherwise going about their day, cannot be tolerated.
“The sentence handed to him today reflects the incredibly serious and harmful nature of the offences.
“We hope this sends a clear message to anyone thinking about committing these crimes that we will not stand for it and they will be found and brought to justice.”
In his sentencing remarks, HHJ Picton, described Laing’s ‘terrible record’ which ‘dated back decades.
He added: “In May this year, you stopped caring about anything else other than your desire to get drugs.
“These incidents had an impact on all concerned. There is a significant risk of you committing further offences.”