A GUNMAN smirked and laughed as he was found guilty of carrying out a terrifying seven-hour robbery spree across Southampton.
Jurors at Southampton Crown Court took just an hour to convict David Parcell of eight charges relating to raids on three convenience stores and a pizza takeaway.
The 41-year-old, who was dressed in a grey prison tracksuit, then said he “didn’t care” if he was jailed for 20 years for his crimes as Judge Peter Henry said he wanted reports on Parcell because of his fears that he represents a danger to the public.
While the judge was still speaking, Parcell – who has 47 previous convictions for 139 offences – stood up and demanded warders take him back to the cells, saying: “I’m going down before I kick off.”
During the three-day trial, the jury was told how a robber had struck at the Best One store in Sholing Road, the Co-op in Tickleford Drive, LA Pizza in Deacon Road and McColls in Montague Avenue, between 2.30pm and 9.30pm on December 22 last year.
In the first three raids he pointed a revolver at frightened staff and demanded cash from the till, while he showed the gun to an assistant in the fourth attack.
He made off with £400 he snatched from the till of Best One, but left empty-handed from the Co-op and McColls stores, while he expressed disbelief that there was only £20 and a few coins to take from LA Pizza.
Parcell was arrested just 30 minutes after the final raid.
He was spotted getting out of a car stuck at the Mount Pleasant Road level crossing in Southampton, trying to take off a dark blue jacket as he walked from a silver Nissan Note car – the same model the robber had got out of before the Best One raid.
Parcell refused to answer police questions, but was charged after officers found a revolver-style airgun when one of the two women he had been in the vehicle with told them to look in the garden of her mother’s Spring Road home.
Although the robber was disguised in a beanie hat and thick-rimmed glasses, a facial mapping expert told the trial there were strong similarities and no significant differences between pictures of Parcell, of Nyrian Way, Gosport, and CCTV images from the raids.
Speaking after the case, DC Tony Welch, from Southampton Central police station, said he was “extremely delighted” with the verdict.
He said: “He’s clearly a dangerous man who now faces a long sentence.
“I’m sure that the people local to the shops where this happened will be reassured that the right person has been found and has been convicted.”