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Masked schizophrenic who raided Hartlepool bookies with baseball bat is jailed

Ladbrokes, Church Street, Hartlepool

Ladbrokes, Church Street, Hartlepool

A MASKED schizophrenic who burst into a bookies wielding a baseball bat before snatching hundreds of pounds from a terrified cashier has been jailed for three years.

Marcus Davies burst into Ladbrokes, in Church Street, Hartlepool, wearing a Balaclava mask and brandishing a baseball bat.

The diagnosed schizophrenic began demanding cash from frightened customer service manager Amy Webster, who was alone at the time.

Davies, 32, was caged for three years at Teesside Crown Court yesterday after he admitted carrying out the raid.

Ms Webster said she had been left terrified by the robbery and frightened to go back to work, the court heard.

It was around 7.30pm on Thursday, February 10, when Davies walked into the bookies.

Describing what followed, prosecutor David Crook said: “Ms Webster was carrying out her normal duties when the defendant entered.

“He was wearing a balaclava pulled down over his face and had a rucksack.

“He produced a large wooden object, it’s thought it was a baseball bat, and said ‘put the money in there, put the money in there’.

“Ms Webster grabbed several notes from the till and handed them to the defendant at which he shouted ‘all of it’ in a threatening manner still brandishing the weapon.”

Ms Webster was about to give Davies some coins when he said ‘that will do’ and fled with £356.

But the court heard Davies took his mask off too soon and his face was caught on CCTV cameras.

Mr Crook added: “The victim described being frightened she would be hit with the weapon if she did not hand over the money.”

In a statement by the victim that was read out in court, Ms Webster said: “I can’t believe this has happened to me.

“I am frightened that the man knows what I look like. This has left me feeling very vulnerable and intimidates and frightened possibly to return to work.”

Peter Makepeace, mitigating, said a psychiatric report showed Davies, of Church Street, Hartlepool, has psychotic symptoms and episodes but was fit to plead guilty.

His record includes being caught carrying offensive weapons in public, house burglary and assault.

Mr Makepeace added: “He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia which is made worse by substance misuse.”

He is now receiving treatment and medication in prison.

Sentencing, Judge George Moorhouse, said: “You forced the lady to hand over money to the value of £356.

“It is quite clear this young lady, who was on her own at the time, was terrified and frightened.

“You had a weapon with you, you were disguised and the matter was clearly pre-planned.

“Members of the public have to be protected.”

 

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