Fugitive couple armed robbery spree ends in jail

A couple have been jailed for nearly 20 years for their parts in a string of armed robberies across Derby and Erewash. Mark Hamlet used a handgun to demand cash, tobacco, and alcohol from terrified shop keepers during a campaign of robberies in the June and July of 2019. The 37-year-old carried out the first two offences on consecutive days – striking first on June 23, at the Co-op in College Street, Long Eaton, where his partner, Rebecca Monk, had gone inside to recce who was in the shop prior to the robbery.

The following day Hamlet struck again at the Select Convenience Store in Stanton Road, Sandiacre, the following day. The final two incidents took place at the Texaco petrol station, in Nottingham Road, Spondon, on July 3 and the Post Office in College Street, Long Eaton, on July 4. Following the robbery of the Post Office officers attended the couples’ home in Grasmere Road, Long Eaton. The pair refused to come out of the house and a 14-hour armed standoff ensued – before they were both safely arrested.

Inside the house officers found the handgun used in the robberies hidden inside a Mr Kipling cake box. Hamlet was charged with four counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery and one count of threatening a person with a blade in a public place. Monk, 50, was charged with one count of robbery – in relation to the incident at the Co-op in College Street, Long Eaton. Both denied the offences but were found guilty after a trial at Derby Crown Court. Today (10 December), at Nottingham Crown Court, Hamlet was jailed for 15 years and six months, with Monk handed four years and three months for her part in College Street DC Gavin Owen, who was part of the team that brought the pair to justice, said:

“Incidents such as these are thankfully rare in our county – but in many ways that makes the actions of Hamlet even more shocking. “The offences took place in small towns and villages and left those involved in understandable fear for their lives. “That nobody was hurt during the offences is only due to the sheer good luck. CCTV footage of the incidents showed Hamlet pointing a gun, and in one case a knife, in the face of his victims. “

DC Owen

In one case the terrified shop worker heard the gun click and thought she was about to be shot. “The victims in these incidents bravely gave evidence during the trial which was vital in securing this conviction. I cannot thank them enough for their support and strength since the offence took place.”

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