A man who stole a car in Chatteris and went on to rob three women, one at knife point, last Christmas has been jailed for 11 years.
Simon Byton, 32, stole a red Vauxhall Zafira from a service station in Chatteris on Christmas Day and drove it to Cambridge, where he carried out a series of robberies.
Cambridge Crown Court heard the first was in Gilbert Road at 6pm on Christmas Day. Byton approached a woman from behind, grabbed her around her waist and placed an unknown object to her throat. He demanded she hand over her bag, before grabbing it and running back to the car.
Byton used the same tactics twice more on Boxing Day: threatening to stab a woman in Warwick Road at about 6.35pm, before pushing her to the floor and taking her bag, and then in Milton Road at about 9.30pm, where he punched the victim in the face before making off with her bag.
He then used the third victim’s bank cards to conduct fraudulent transactions, attempting to purchase scratch cards.
Later officers saw the stolen vehicle and pursued it, however Byton abandoned the car and fled on foot.
He was arrested at his home on 29 December after being identified in CCTV footage.
While being investigated Byton also admitted to robbing a post office in Albert Road, Stow Cum Quy, on 15 December last year. He threatened the store assistant at knife point before helping himself to £250 from the till.
Byton, of Bridge Street, Chatteris, was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to four counts of robbery, one count of taking a car without consent, one count of having a bladed article and two counts of fraud.
Detective Constable Karen Lunn said: “Byton caused the victims physical and emotional injuries and is now being punished for his actions.
“We will do all we can to bring the perpetrators of crimes to justice and I hope the sentence sends a clear message to anyone who thinks they can get away with this type of offence.”
Byton was jailed for five years for the post office robbery, two years to run concurrently for having a bladed article, one year to run concurrently for stealing the car, and five years for each handbag robbery, to run concurrently with the other offences, but consecutive to the first robbery at the post office. He also received one year for each count of fraud to run concurrently, bringing the total sentence to 11 years.