Stoke robber held a knife to victim's face over drug debt argument
A KNIFE-WIELDING robber who terrified his victims in their own home has been jailed for six years and four months.
Declan Marshall threatened his victims with a knife when he and another man went to their home to collect a drug debt.
The 22-year-old defendant held the knife to the victim's face and his accomplice pulled out a gun and threatened his girlfriend.
Prosecutor Paul Spratt told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court the victim went to an address in Fenton to buy some cannabis but did not have enough cash so he was driven back to his home in Stoke, to get the rest of the money.
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Mr Spratt said: "The complainant produced £50. He turned to his friend and inquired if he would pay the balance. But this defendant then produced a knife. It was held towards his face and throat. He was up against the wall and a further £200 was taken from him.
"His phone was taken from him as was his laptop. A second phone was taken from his girlfriend together with a Playstation console. The victim and his girlfriend were threatened with a knife. She was also threatened with a gun by a second, unknown, man. He also had a knife which he produced with his free hand.
"The couple and their friend were told to go into the kitchen and lie on the floor."
Mr Spratt said the prosecution accept Marshall did not have the gun. He added the victims did not believe the gun was real.
The victim was left with minor injuries including cuts to his ear and a small mark on his biceps, which appeared to be from the tip of the knife. His girlfriend was not injured but was terrified by her ordeal on September 17.
Marshall, of Ventnor Grove, Longton, pleaded guilty to two charges of robbery. Joanne Wallbanks, mitigating, conceded the offences were committed in someone's home but said Marshall and the other man were invited inside.
Miss Wallbanks added: "The other person he was with was his dealer, who he and his girlfriend received threats from. He wished he had simply gone to the police or said no but he was concerned about the welfare of his partner and child."
Judge Granville Styler said: "There was some planning. There were two injured parties in their own home, you produced a knife, you knew your accomplice, also had a weapon. You made physical threats with the knife, holding it to the injured party's throat and you stole property. The victims were terrified. It was clearly a terrifying ordeal for all."