AN ARMED robber who took part in a terror raid targeting high value watches and jewellery has been jailed for eight years.

Gareth Edwards and an axe-wielding accomplice made off with 12 Rolex watches and other items worth £76,648 after victims were threatened.

Edwards, 25, jumped over display cases and removed valuables while his sidekick brandished an axe in the face of shopper Euan Ivory and shouted: “Get on the floor or I will chop you and chop the others.”

Following the raid on Duncanson and Edwards pawnbrokers premises in Queen Street, Edinburgh, on January 15, 2014 Edwards fled to Spain but returned after he was held under a European arrest warrant.

A judge told Mancunian Edwards at the High Court in Edinburgh the raid must have been “a terrifying experience” for those caught up in it.

Judge Robert Weir, QC, said CCTV footage he was shown was “eloquent of the violent efficiency” with which it was carried out.

Edwards, who has a previous conviction for robbery in England, earlier admitted taking part in the armed raid in Edinburgh and failing to appear in a Scottish court in July last year.

The judge told Edwards he would have jailed him for 10 years for the robbery, but would reduce the sentence to six years and eight months following his guilty plea. He sentenced him to a further 16 months for failing to appear in court last year.

Procurator Fiscal Nicky Patrick said: “Gareth Edwards fled abroad in a deliberate attempt to avoid the consequences of his actions. We were able to work closely with criminal justice partners in Spain and, once the accused had been traced, he was quickly returned to Scotland to be tried.”

HeraldScotland | Crime & Courts

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