Robber said he had a gun in his jacket
A Rutherglen dad- of- four, who robbed two men of almost £30,000 by concealing a bicycle pump in his jacket pocket and claiming it was a gun, has been jailed for five years.
At the High Court in Glasgow last Thursday (September 3) 35-year-old Mark Rochford admitted robbing Alexander Butler and Graham Crichton at Stonelaw Road, Glasgow, on June 20, last year, while acting with another person.
Rochford, of 75 Toryglen Road, told them he had a gun and repeatedly threatened to shoot them and forced them to hand over takings amounting to £28,623.49.
The court heard that Mr Butler, 46, and Mr Crichton, 69, work for Kwik Kegg in Rutherglen, which distributes alcohol to pubs and clubs. On June 20 they were taking cash to the bank . They drove to near the bank and then parked.
As they walked along the street to the bank Rochford, who was wearing a black bomber jacket approached them.
Rochford pushed an item he had concealed in his left pocket into Mr Crichton’s stomach and said: “I’ve got a gun in my pocket and I’ll use it.”
Mr Crichton replied: “You’re f***ing joking.” and Rochford told him: “If you don’t believe me feel it.”
When Mr Crichton touched the outside of Rochford’s jacket he felt what appeared to be the barrel of a gun and was told: “If you don’t give me the money there’s a guy over there with a gun and he’ll shoot you.”
They handed over the bag containing the money to Rochford who warned them not to call the police before calmly walking away.
Although distressed and visibly shaken Mr Crichton and Mr Butler followed Rochford and saw him get into the front passenger seat of a green Citroen and managed to note part of the registration plate.
Police tracked down the car owner, but he claimed he had given a lift to Rochford as a favour to a friend.
The car was searched and the cash was found in the front passenger seat footwell. A Marks and Spencer’s carrier bag found beside it contained a jacket, a cap and a bicycle pump.
Rochford’s DNA was found on the jacket cuffs and on the cap, and one of his fingerprints was found inside the Marks and Spencer carrier bag.
Solicitor advocate Liam O’Donnell, representing Rochford, said: “He accepts full responsibility for this incident and is genuinely remorseful.”
Judge Lord Turnbull told Rochford, who has previous convictions for violence, if it had not been for his early plea of guilty he would have jailed him for seven and a half years.
Lord Turnbull said: “You pleaded guilty to perpetrating a robbery in which you pretended to be in possession of a gun. However, the victims themselves thought a real gun was involved.”