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Robber took 12 Rolex watches in 'terrifying' £76,000 raid

Gareth Edwards and an axe-wielding accomplice targeted a pawnbrokers in Edinburgh.

A robber stole Rolex watches and other high value jewellery in a "terrifying" raid on a pawnbrokers in Edinburgh.

Gareth Edwards and an axe-wielding accomplice made off with 12 Rolex watches and other items worth a total of £76,648.

Edwards, 25, of Manchester, jumped over display cases and removed valuables while his accomplice brandished an axe in the face of a shopper.

He shouted: "Get on the floor or I will chop you and chop the others."

Following the raid on Duncanson and Edwards pawnbrokers on Queen Street, Edinburgh, on January 15, 2014, Edwards fled to Spain to evade justice.

He returned after he was held under a European arrest warrant.

A judge told Edwards at the High Court in Edinburgh that the raid must have been "a terrifying experience" for those caught up in it.

Judge Robert Weir QC said CCTV footage he was shown was "eloquent of the violent efficiency" with which the raid was carried out.

Edwards, who has a previous conviction for robbery in England, earlier admitted taking part in the armed raid in Edinburgh and failing to appear in a Scottish court in July last year.

'I understand he received a fraction of the proceeds for his part in the matter.'
Defence solicitor advocate Ewen Roy

Advocate depute Stephen McCloy said Edwards and his accomplice had entered Duncanson and Edwards with their faces covered.

He said the accomplice brandished an axe in the shopper's face and shouted "Get on the floor or I will chop you and chop the others."

The prosecutor said the male customer then lay down on the floor near display cabinets.

A member of staff was then ordered to remove the till, which he did when the axe was raised above the customer's head.

He was then ordered to the floor when the till was shown to be empty.

The accomplice threatened the worker and repeatedly shouted "Don't press the button or I will chop you."

The pair then fled the premises with stolen valuables on mountain bikes.

Defence solicitor advocate Ewen Roy said Edwards had now shown "genuine remorse and a good degree of victim empathy and insight".

He said Edwards ran out of money and got into debt and agreed to take part in the robbery.

"He understood his role was to get the watches and items while the associate wielded the axe," Mr Roy said.

The defence lawyer said Edwards acknowledged the robbery had "brought terror to his victims".

He added: "I understand he received a fraction of the proceeds for his part in the matter."

Edwards later fled to Benidorm was detained on a European warrant in March this year.

The judge told Edwards that he would have jailed him for ten years for the robbery but would reduce the sentence to six years and eight months following his guilty plea.

He sentenced him to a further 16 months for failing to appear in court last year.

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