05:04PM, Tuesday 08 June 2021
A man who subjected two shop workers to a ‘frightening ordeal’ during a knifepoint robbery in Slough has been jailed for seven years.
Mark Church, formerly of Farnburn Avenue, targeted McColl’s Convenience Store in Scaffell Road, at 6.15am on January 15 last year.
Armed with a knife, the 45-year-old threatened a pair of female employees, both aged in their 50s, before stealing cash, stamps and cigarettes.
Police said he then forced one of the woman to the back office of the store at knifepoint and demanded she hand over the safe key.
The other member of staff was then told to help him fill up a large bag with cigarettes.
Church set off a fire extinguisher as he fled the shop and made off with a haul of more than £3,750 in cash, cigarettes and stamps.
The staff were uninjured.
Church was sentenced at Reading Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of robbery.
He has been handed a seven-year jail term, with a further three on licence.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Zoe Batten, of Slough CID, said: “This was an exceptionally frightening ordeal for the two female victims.
“Both have worked tirelessly in the store, serving and supporting their local community, and on January 15 last year, they were faced with Church who was armed with a knife, making threats towards them.
“Both of the victims have shown great bravery during and after this terrifying act carried out against them in their place of work.
“Thankfully, no physical injuries came to either victim, but the ordeal they went through cannot be underestimated.
“I am happy to be able to let the victims in this case know, along with the public, that Mark Church has now been convicted of this dreadful crime and has received a lengthy prison sentence as a result.”
Church will also be subject to an indefinite restraining order to protect the victims.
Billy Presbury, 21, of Moray Drive, and Kai Warwick, 19, of Whiteford Road, targeted a trio of teenage boys in Farnham Park on June 1, 2019.