CCTV shows 'frightening' moment two men hold up service station with fake gun and knife

CCTV footage shows the moment two men held up a service station with a fake pistol and a knife - before fleeing with more than £900 worth of cigarettes just two minutes later.

Jack Knight, 44, and Grant Bolden, 39, were captured on CCTV entering the shop in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, at 10.35pm on 27 September last year.

The two men have been sentenced to a combined 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery.

In the footage, Knight can be seen pointing the fake gun at the cashier as he moves towards him.

Meanwhile, Bolden holds a knife, and demands money and cigarettes as he jumps over the counter.

He can then be seen filling a bag with boxes of cigarettes before the two men run out of the shop.

Bolden was identified after police issued an appeal for information via social media.

He called Essex Police to confirm he was one of the men pictured but initially denied being part of any robbery.

Further work, including analysis of the suspects' clothes, identified Knight and Bolden as the perpetrators.

Officers then found incriminating messages on their phones.

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Texts on a phone attributed to Bolden offered packets of cigarettes for sale, with one message reading: "I want £300 for them all. For 44 packs that's a bargain."

Knight, of Flitch Green, Dunmow, and Bolden, of Hunters Way, Saffron Walden, admitted to robbery at an earlier hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex Police said.

Knight was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison on 7 March and Bolden was given a seven-year sentence on 9 May.

Bolden was also sentenced for separate offences - making threats with a knife and a racially-aggravated public order offence, after becoming aggressive when asked to pay a taxi fare in May last year.

Detective Sergeant David Crane, from Essex Police's serious and organised crime unit, said: "This was a deeply unsettling and frightening incident for the victim, who had no reason to believe the pistol pointed at their head wasn't a viable firearm."