Sidmouth 'Robin Hood' robber in armed raids

PUBLISHED: 13:56 21 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:01 18 June 2010

Armed robber Stephen Jackley

Armed robber Stephen Jackley

Copyright Archant Ltd

A MASKED armed robber from Sidmouth has pleaded guilty to a string of crimes in which he brandished a gun and threatened his victims. Stephen Jackley, 23, of Manstone Avenue, claimed he was a modern-day Robin Hood who robbed from the rich to give to the

A MASKED armed robber from Sidmouth has pleaded guilty to a string of crimes in which he brandished a gun and threatened his victims.

Stephen Jackley, 23, of Manstone Avenue, claimed he was a 'modern-day Robin Hood' who robbed from the rich to give to the poor.

He attempted to rob Lloyds TSB in Exeter, made off with cash after a raid at Ladbrokes betting shop in Exeter, robbed the Seaton branch of Lloyds TSB and attempted to rob Britannia Building Society in Exeter.

He appeared before Worcester Crown Court on Monday where he admitted to carrying out a total of 18 offences, including five robberies, three attempted robberies, seven counts of possessing a firearm, one burglary, one attempted burglary and ABH.

Detective Sergeant Danny Turnbull, of Exeter CID, said: "He has left a string of victims all over the country. A number of people in this area will never forget Jackley for all the wrong reasons."

Jackley, who covered his face during the robberies, used a knife as a weapon during his early raids and then progressed to a gun, said DS Turnbull.

He committed the Devon offences between September and December 2007 when he was in his first undergraduate year at the University of Worcester.

Police linked Jackley to these offences and several others after he was arrested in the US for attempting to buy a gun with a fake ID.

Officers raided his university halls where they came across notebooks, in which he wrote about his crimes.

DS Turnbull, who took part in the extensive investigation, said: "He [Jackley] had made notes which refer to a number of the robberies detailing how he felt about it at the time, how he thinks his victims reacted and what he thought the victim would be feeling then."

He added: "The investigations were sapping-we put a lot of time and energy into it. Obviously a series of armed robberies in an area like Exeter and east Devon are almost unheard of."

In a letter written by Jackley he said he was 'Robin Hood' and signed it RH.

DS Turnbull said: "He wanted it to mean Robin Hood. But there is no evidence to suggest he gave any of the money away.

"He threatened people and made people feel so awful. He caused so much stress and trauma to his victims.

"They were the ones who were worse off- they were only people employed to do their job."

He is also wanted by police in the Netherlands for a number of similar offences and DS Turnbull said it is likely they will speak to him in the near future.

Jackley was deported back to England in May after serving four-and-a-half months of his ten month jail sentence in the US.

He will appear before a judge at Worcester Crown Court today to be sentenced and DS Turnbull predicts he will receive a "lengthy custodial sentence". Jackley has been held in custody until his court appearance.


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