Couple jailed for string of armed robberies following 14-hour stand-off with police

A criminal couple have been jailed for almost 20 years for their part in a string of armed robberies across Derbyshire.

Mark Hamlet, 37, and Rebecca Monk, 50, were arrested at their home in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, after a 14-hour stand-off with police in July 2019.

The pair have been jailed for 20 years for four armed robberies where a handgun was used to demand cash, tobacco, and alcohol.

The handgun which was used in the robberies was hidden inside a cake box at the property, Derbyshire Police said.

The first robbery of four took place at the Co-op in College Street, Long Eaton, on June 23, 2019.

Monk entered the shop first, while Hamlet followed with his pistol and made violent demands.

Hamlet and Monk were involved in four armed robberies in Derbyshire in 2019 Credit: Derbyshire Police

The second robbery was the next day, June 24, where Hamlet hit a Select Convenience Store in Stanton Road.

The final two robberies took place on July 3 and July 4 at a Texaco Petrol Station in Nottingham Road, Spondon and the Post Office in College Street, Long Eaton.

After the fourth robbery on July 4, officers went to the couple's home in Grasmere Road and the pair were detained after a stand-off for 14 hours.

They were both arrested and the pistol used in the robberies was found in a Mr Kipling cake box.

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.

Mark Hamlet was jailed for 15 years and six months and Rebecca Monk was jailed for seven years Credit: Derbyshire Police

At Nottingham Crown Court, Hamlet has been jailed for 15 years and six months and Monk has been handed four years and three months for her part in College Street.

DC Gavin Owen, who was part of the team that caught the robbers, 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."

"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."