POLICE have welcomed a six year sentence handed down at Antrim Crown Court to a man who carried out a ‘distressing’ knife robbery at a filling station.
Kyle Parke (28), of Heronshaw in Bushmills, struck in January this year and stole almost £1,000 in cash along with a quantity of tobacco.
The PSNI North Coast Facebook page said: ‘Detectives have welcomed the six year prison sentence handed down by the court today to 28 year old Kyle Parke for robbery and possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence.
‘Parke robbed a filling station on the Bushmills Road in Coleraine on January 30th of this year armed with a knife.
‘Detective Inspector Peter McKenna said this was a despicable crime and a distressing situation for the young staff member involved. Parke will serve three years in custody and the remainder on licence,’ the Facebook post said.
Parke was before Antrim Crown Court last week.
A police officer previously told a court CCTV footage showed a male entering the filling station with a ten-inch kitchen knife and emptying two tills before taking some tobacco.
A previous court also heard that following the incident Parke “barricaded” himself into an attic when police found him at a house in Coleraine’s Ballysally estate.
When arrested he had assaulted a police officer and was previously given a two months sentence on that charge.
That charge was dealt with at the Magistrates Court recently which heard Parke was described as an “escapologist” by a defence lawyer as after being arrested he was able to wriggle free of handcuffs before assaulting the PSNI officer.
A court had heard Parke was found hiding in an attic “wrapped in roof space insulating material”.
A defence lawyer had said that although it was winter at the time, being wrapped in the insulating material meant the defendant “certainly wouldn’t have been cold”.
Police had been looking for Parke and when he was not at his home in Bushmills in breach of his bail he was then found in the attic of a female’s house in Coleraine.
The prosecutor said Parke refused to come down from the roof space and when officers eventually got him out of the attic he was “drowsy” and was taken to hospital where he began spitting and an officer feared being headbutted.
A defence barrister had said: “It seems that Mr Parke was somewhat of an escapologist. He managed to remove his hands from handcuffs whilst his hands were under a blanket”.
He said Parke had a “lamentable criminal record” and had been in custody since February and then became a sentenced prisoner in respect of other matters.
In prison, he said Parke was studying English and Maths, cooking and painting and decorating.