A knife-wielding raider who went on three-day armed robbery spree in Sheffield wearing a Scream mask has been jailed.
Gareth Gratton, aged 29, was jailed for five years and four months after pleading guilty to three convenience store robberies between September 27 and 29 last year.
Gratton, of Piper Court, Southey Green, also admitted three thefts in the same month.
Co-accused Craig Denton, 32, of Oxspring Bank, Shirecliffe, was jailed for three years and four months after admitting involvement in two of the thefts and one of the armed robberies.
Jailing the pair at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, Judge Richard Woolfall described the robberies as ‘serious offences’ against ‘vulnerable’ people and businesses.
The court heard that on September 27, Gratton burst into the Spar store on Stannington Road at around 9.30pm.
Matthew Bean, prosecuting, said: “A male wearing a Scream mask and puffer jacket, seen to be carrying a knife with a nine inch blade walks into the store.”
Mr Bean said the female working at the store was ordered to open the till and Gratton stole £80 cash, cigarettes and stamps.
The following day Gratton walked into the Co-op store on Lees Hall Avenue, Norton Lees, at around 7.20pm, wearing a ‘Halloween mask’.
Mr Bean said: “A man approached the till and produced a black revolver. He demanded that the man opened the till.”
Gratton fled the store with £340 cash.
And on September 29 at around 9.50pm, the court heard Gratton, Denton, and another male, entered the One Stop store on Cottam Road, High Green, at around 9.50pm.
After robbing the till, the shopkeeper was taken to the store room, where the defendants demanded he opened the safe.
The court heard that two of the robbers had large knives.
The robbers stole £1,154 from the safe, £693 from the till and £2,194 worth of cigarettes.
The court heard Gratton was arrested after a white Ford Focus he had rented from Avis at Manchester Airport – which had been used in the robberies – was found by police near his home.
Denton was traced after pulling his mask up on CCTV during the robbery he was involved with.