Gun-wielding Gosport thug guilty of robberies

Police outside Blake's nightclub in Gravesend after a car drove down the alleyway next to the club and crashed into a marquee injuring a number of people. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

NATIONAL: Revellers injured after car driven into nightclub

Have your say

A MAN who has been found guilty of carrying out four armed robberies in one day is facing a life behind bars.

David Parcell, of Nyria Way, Gosport, toured Southampton on December 22 last year disguised in thick-rimmed glasses and a beanie hat committing the crimes.

The jury took a little over an hour to reach its unanimous verdicts at the end of the three-day trial at Southampton Crown Court.

The 41-year-old was found guilty of two counts of robbery, two of attempted robbery, and four charges of possessing a firearm with intent to cause harm or fear of violence.

As the guilty verdicts were read out one by one by the jury’s foreman, Parcell smirked and mouthed obscenities.

And as the judge thanked the jury for its efforts, Parcell said: ‘I’m going down before I kick off,’ and left the courtroom for the holding cells with a guard at his side.

The gun-wielding thug carried out the robberies at Best One store in Sholing Road, LA Pizza in Deacon Road, Co-op in Tickleford Drive and McColl’s in Montague Avenue, all in Southampton.

The crimes took place between 2.30pm and 9.30pm, with the robber getting away with £400 from Best One and about £20 from LA Pizza, but he fled empty-handed from the other two.

The trial saw CCTV of Parcell reaching across the counter in Best One and waving the gun at the terrified staff.

The silver Nissan Note he was being driven around in was also picked up on CCTV outside Best One and later in the day.

Parcell was arrested by police who had been following the Nissan as it fitted the description of a vehicle connected to the robberies.

He was grabbed by officers as he left the car at a level crossing in Southampton at about 10pm that evening.

A gun was found two days later in the garden of the mother of one of the two women also in the Nissan.

An expert in photo analysis also gave evidence of how images of Parcell in the CCTV resembled images of him taken during his police interview.

Parcell had refused to take the stand during the trial and Richard Onslow, defending, offered no further evidence.

Prosecutor Simon Foster told the court: ‘This defendant has been before the courts numerous times – on 47 occasions for a total of 139 offences.’

Judge Peter Henry said: ‘The only sentence I can impose will be a long sentence of imprisonment.

‘Given his antecedents I should consider the question of dangerousness.’

Sentencing has been adjourned until July 13 to allow probation time to compile a report on Parcell’s dangerousness to the public.

Speaking after the verdict, Det Con Tony Welch of Southampton Central CID said: ‘I’m extremely delighted at the verdict, he’s clearly a very dangerous man who is now facing a long sentence.

‘I’m sure that the people local to the shops where these happened will be reassured that the right person was found and has been convicted.’