Police, Fire & Court

Knife-wielding robber jailed for 24 years for subjecting two Altrincham couples to “terrifying” ordeals

By David Prior at

A knife-wielding robber has been jailed for 24 years after forcing a couple to drive him to a cash machine while their children slept upstairs.

Mark Kenneth Blackley, 40, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to a number of offences at Manchester Crown Court on July 2nd.

Today, he was sentenced in his absence to 24 years.

The court had heard that at 10.15pm on January 11th 2018, Blackley forced his way into a property on The Downs in Altrincham, brandishing a six-inch kitchen knife and demanded cash and bank cards from a couple inside.

While their children slept upstairs, the couple were forced to drive to a cash point.

However, after arriving at the ATM, Blackley realised he had lost the bank cards handed over to him only minutes earlier at the couple’s home.

Blackley then forced the couple to drive him back to the property, where he demanded they search for more bank cards, threatening to “stab them in the heart” with a second knife if they didn’t comply.

Mark Blackley was sentenced to 24 years

Blackley then noticed the man’s company credit card. After being informed that cash couldn’t be withdrawn on it, Blackley demanded the couple get back in the car and drive him to a Tesco, on Manor Road in Altrincham, so he could buy items.

Once at the supermarket, the couple managed to escape. Blackley chased the man but was unable to catch him.

Blackley then forced his way into a second property, locking the door behind him.

He threatened the occupants with a knife, demanded that they pour him an alcoholic drink and stole cash and keys to a Peugeot 208, before stealing the car.

Police pursued the vehicle, which Blackley abandoned at the roundabout on Princess Parkway and Mancunian Way.

He attempted to escape on foot by climbing over a fence, whereupon a pursuing officer deployed a taser and detained him.

Detective Constable Helen Bagnall, of GMP’s Trafford Division, said: “Blackley is a dangerous, selfish offender.

“He showed no regard for his victims, whom he subjected to a sustained, traumatic experience.

“Not only did he subject two separate families to terrifying ordeals, he even forced parents from their home, leaving children alone upstairs.

“Blackley’s menace was matched by the bravery of pursuing police officers, who tackled a dangerous offender whom they knew to be armed with knives.

“We are indebted to their courage, and that of Blackley’s victims, whose testimony has helped put a dangerous offender behind bars.”