Rob­ber said he had a gun in his jacket

Rutherglen Reformer - - NEWS - Court re­porter

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.”

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