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23 November 2011, 11:39
A 29-year-old man who carried out three robberies in Norwich over two weeks, two of which were armed, has been jailed for more than four years.
Mark Barton, from Cotman Fields in Norwich, appeared at the city's crown court yesterday, Tuesday 22nd November, after pleading guilty to three counts of robbery.
The court heard how Barton threatened bookmaker staff in Betfred on Hall Road and William Hill in Old Palace Road at knifepoint before getting away with more than £4,000 in cash.
The first incident at Betfred happened on October 19th and just days into the investigation detectives took the unusual step of releasing a photograph of Barton who had been identified as the main suspect through CCTV.
Barton targeted the William Hill betting shop on October 28th before robbing city centre jewellers Aurum on November 1st. During the robbery Barton snatched a tray of jewellery worth £37,299 and ran from the shop, threatening to attack staff who had tried to challenge him. A short time later, Barton was detained by police and taken to Wymondham Police Investigation Centre where he was questioned and later charged with the offences.
Barton was sentenced to a total of four years and 10 months imprisonment.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Firm, from Norwich CID, said: "These were very serious offences and frightening experiences for those involved and thankfully no-one was injured.
Barton committed these brazen offences without concern for anyone else and he is now behind bars where he belongs."