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Man sentenced for Betfred robbery

A man who threatened terrified betting shop staff as he carried out a robbery has been given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Jonathan Ruchavest, of Theseus Walk, Islington, was identified by the City of London Police from fingerprints left behind at the scene and a distinctive neck tattoo captured on CCTV images.

He appeared before Inner London Crown Court on Tuesday (19 September 2017), having pleaded guilty to one count of robbery.

The incident took place on Saturday 27 May 2017, when Ruchavest entered the Betfred betting shop in Moorgate, and passed a note to a member of staff demanding £3,000.

He went on to threaten the staff member, saying: “Give me everything you have in the shop or I’ll hammer your head in.”

Ruchavest, 37, then reached into the bag he was carrying, but no weapon was seen. He also told the staff member he had just been released from jail.

Worried for his safety, the staff member handed over cash from the till and the safe before pressing the store’s panic button once Ruchavest had left the premises.

Officers from the City of London Police attended and the note the suspect left was seized. A fingerprint from the note was subsequently recovered and linked with Jonathan Ruchavest. This gave officers details of Ruchavest’s distinguishing features, including the fact he had a large tattoo on his neck that read “Fire Starter”.

When leaving the premises, a facial camera captured an image of the suspect where the word ‘fire’ can clearly be seen on the right hand side of his neck.  

Ruchavest was arrested in June by waiting officers as he arrived back in the UK from a trip to Thailand. The money he stole was not recovered.

Detective Sergeant Jonathan Ball from the City of London Police said of the sentencing:

“This was a terrifying incident for the member of staff involved. Ruchavest waited until he was alone with the worker before he made his threats and although there was no weapon involved, the worker could not be certain Ruchavest was unarmed.

“Thanks to the great work of our officers and forensic team, we were able to catch the culprit and he must now suffer the consequences of his actions.”

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