Balaclava DNA Convicts Kent Robber

28 May 2010, 11:44 | Updated: 28 May 2010, 11:59

A man's been jailed for five years for a robbery at a shop in Gillingham after police matched him to DNA found on a balaclava dumped nearby.

Danny Martin, 25, from Sydney Road in the town was part of a gang who took money and cigarettes after threatening the shopkeeper with a knife.

The robbery happened at the mini mart on Barnsole Road in Gillingham on 28th September 2009.

The four men took £1300 in cash and around £3000 in cigarettes before running out of the shop to a car that was waiting for them.

During the investigation, police found a balaclava in a nearby alleyway, it was tested for DNA and found to match that of Danny Martin.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Sean Wareham: "This case highlights the important role that DNA evidence can play in serious incidents such as this.  The evidence that was found on the balaclava left Martin with no choice other than to plead guilty to the offence.

"The length of the sentence reflects the severity of this robbery.  The member of staff was badly shaken by the actions of those involved, but fortunately wasn’t hurt.  While we have not been able to positively identify the other offenders, we are pleased that one of the main players has been sentenced for the part they played.

"Violent robberies such as this do remain uncommon in Medway, and this sentence sends a clear message that we are effective in bringing those responsible to justice.  The Judge has recognised the fact that Martin is a dangerous offender and has also given him a two-year licence on top of the five-year sentence.  That means that if he re-offends after five years, he will be taken back to prison immediately to serve the rest of the time there."

Martin was also jailed for an assault in a Chatham pub on 13 October 2009 where he smashed a glass into another man’s face during an argument at The Old Post Office. 

The 18 year old victim suffered cuts to the face and Martin was arrested shortly afterwards and charged the next day.  He was serving time in prison on remand in relation to this incident when he was charged with the robbery on 2 December 2009.