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Knife-wielding robber jailed for more than 20 years

Mark Blackley

A knife-wielding robber has been jailed for more than 20 years after forcing a couple to drive him to a cash machine while their children slept upstairs.

On 2 July 2018 at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, Mark Kenneth Blackley (17/10/1978) of no fixed address pleaded guilty to a number of offences.

Today, Friday 30 November 2018, he was sentenced in his absence to 24 years.

At 10.15pm on January 11 2018, Blackley forced his way into a property on The Down’s, Altrincham, brandishing a 6-inch kitchen knife and demanded cash and bank cards from a couple inside.

While their children slept upstairs, the couple were forced to drive to a cash point.

However, after arriving at the ATM, Blackley realised he had lost the bank cards handed over to him only minutes earlier at the couple’s home.

Blackley then forced the couple to drive him back to the property, where he demanded they search for more bank cards, threatening to ‘stab them in the heart’ with a second knife if they didn’t comply.

Blackley then noticed the man’s company credit card. After being informed that cash couldn’t be withdrawn on it, Blackley demanded the couple get back in the car and drive him to a supermarket on Manor Road, Altrincham, so he could buy items.

Once at the supermarket, the couple managed to escape. Blackley chased the man but was unable to catch him.

Blackley then forced his way into a second property, locking the door behind him.

He threatened the occupants with a knife, demanded that they pour him an alcoholic drink and stole cash and keys to a Peugeot 208, before stealing the car.

Police pursued the vehicle, which Blackley abandoned at the roundabout on Princess Parkway and Mancunian Way.

He attempted to escape on foot by climbing over a fence, whereupon a pursuing officer deployed a taser and detained him.

Detective Constable Helen Bagnall of GMP’s Trafford Division said: “Blackley is a dangerous, selfish offender.

“He showed no regard for his victims, whom he subjected to a sustained, traumatic experience.

“Not only did he subject two separate families to terrifying ordeals, he even forced parents from their home, leaving children alone upstairs.

“Blackley’s menace was matched by the bravery of pursuing police officers, who tackled a dangerous offender whom they knew to be armed with knives.

“We are indebted to their courage, and that of Blackley’s victims, whose testimony has helped put a dangerous offender behind bars.”

Blackley pleaded guilty to:

  • Four counts of robbery
  • Two counts of kidnapping
  • Three counts of possession of a bladed article
  • Attempted robbery
  • Aggravated vehicle taking
  • Dangerous driving
  • Driving while disqualified

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