A man has been jailed for a decade after he robbed a number of bookmakers wearing a rubber mask and threatening staff with a fake revolver.
Andrae Moncrieffe, 37, of Bibury Close in Southwark, was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court last Friday to a total of 10 years’ imprisonment.
At the same court on Thursday March 25 he was found guilty following trial of three counts of robbery and three counts of possession of an imitation firearm whist committing a schedule 1 offence.
The court heard that Moncrieffe robbed three bookmakers in South London on 15 and 27 December 2019 where he threatened staff with an imitation firearm.
Detective Chief Inspector Ann Marie Waller, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “These robberies were absolutely terrifying ordeals for the staff members and customers involved.
“They were all in fear for their lives as they truly believed that Moncrieffe was armed.
“Moncrieffe went to great lengths to try and conceal his identity, including wearing a prosthetic rubber face mask that looked like something out of a horror film.
“However, detailed witness accounts and painstaking detective work by the Flying Squad ensured overwhelming evidence was put forward at his trial and the jury found him guilty.
“I am glad that the sentence handed down reflects the danger that Moncrieffe poses to the public”
Just before 6.30pm on December 15 2019, Moncrieffe, followed a staff member into a betting shop on Rye Lane in Peckham.
As she was about to enter the door that leads to the tills and staff room, which had just been unlocked for her, her colleague saw a man approaching.
The colleague instinctively knew that something was wrong, called out to her and ran over to shut and lock the door.
The victim did not manage to reach the safety of the staff area and she came face-to-face with Moncrieffe, who was holding a grey pillow case – which was wrapped around a metal item.
Moncrieffe ushered the victim to the glass window and as he did several customers ran out of the shop. The victim screamed and also managed to escape, dropping her purse as she ran.
Moncrieffe also ran out of the venue, picking up the dropped purse on his way out.
Moncrieffe was wearing a rubber face mask, a blue beanie hat with a white trim, brown sunglasses and dark clothing.
At around 9.45pm on December 15 2019, a staff member at a bookmakers in Denmark Hill was working behind the till when he noticed a man enter the shop wearing a rubber face mask.
Immediately suspicious, the staff member shouted to his colleague on the shop floor and ran to the safe haven – an area behind a closed door, which is just out of sight of the shop.
Moncrieffe grabbed the employee on the shop floor and put him into a headlock.
He pointed the imitation firearm, which the victims believed to be real, to the employee’s head and shouted “Oi, come here” to the staff member in the safe haven.
The staff member pushed open the door to the area behind the counter and saw Moncrieffe with a gun to his colleague’s head.
The staff member said it was wrapped in a grey cloth and it looked like a revolver.
Moncrieffe then pointed the gun at him and said “give me the money.”
Fearing for the safety of his colleague and himself, he began to hand money over to the gunman but Moncrieffe was not satisfied and demanded more.
The staff member explained he did not have access to the safe and he held-up the empty till drawer to show him that all the money was gone.
The victim then spotted some cash which had fallen on the floor and he handed that to Moncrieffe.
Moncrieffe, who was wearing the same clothing from the first robbery, then ran away.
On December 27 2019 at about 8.20pm, a female staff member at a bookmakers in Kirkwood Road in Nunhead was at work with her male colleague.
She was aware of the recent robberies and was on alert.
She was behind the till and her colleague was on the shop floor when she saw a man at the door walking past wearing a rubber face mask.
He was wearing sunglasses, a top hat and was using a walking stick.
The man turned and as he did, the female staff member shouted to her colleague “it’s him” before running into the safe haven and calling the police.
Moncrieffe pulled the imitation firearm from the waistband of his trousers and pointed it at the male member of staff, demanding that he call his colleague.
A customer was also in the shop and he put his hands up and got on his hands and knees.
While the female staff member was in the safe haven she heard Moncrieffe shout “just give me the money, just give me the money” and then words to the effect of “I’ll kill you if you don’t give me the money.”
Terrified, she ran back to the counter and began to throw money out from the tills.
As he collected the money, the male staff member ran out the front door and shut it behind him in a brave bid to trap the gunman inside the shop.
Moncrieffe was too aggressive and strong and as he went for the gun in his waistband the staff member allowed him to exit.
The suspect in all three robberies was described as having a strong Jamaican accent.
The investigation into the three robberies, which was initially conducted by local officers, was taken over by detectives from the Flying Squad.
Detectives carried out a number of enquiries, including reviewing CCTV and carrying out covert surveillance on Moncrieffe.
On April 14 2020, a warrant to search Moncrieffe’s home and car was executed but detectives did not find anything of significance in his home.
Officers did recover disguises and props used in the robberies from his car, including a grey pillow case, a blue white rimmed beanie hat, a top hat, walking stick and a homemade imitation firearm.
The imitation firearm was a convincing replica of revolver with a long barrel and handle with a fashioned trigger.
Unfortunately, detectives did not recover the rubber face mask.
When detectives asked Moncrieffe if everything in the car was his, he replied ‘no comment.’
Forensic analysis of the imitation firearm revealed that Moncrieffe’s fingerprint was found on the side of the imitation firearm.
Moncrieffe was taken to a South London police station where he answered ‘no comment’ to all the questions put to him.
He was subsequently charged on 15 April 2020.
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