AN armed robber who targeted a Subway store and Farmfoods in Bradford has been labelled a public danger and sentenced to eight years in prison with a five-year extended licence period.

Marc Skelly was masked and wielding a hammer and a machete during the attacks on the stores in September last year in which one staff member received a deep cut to his hand and others were left traumatised.

Skelly, 32, of Sandfield Road, Idle, Bradford, first struck at Subway on Tong Street with an accomplice at 7.30pm on September 15, 2020, prosecutor Ayesha Smart said.

She told Bradford Crown Court today that the robbers were both masked and armed with hammers.

Skelly jumped over the counter and threatened to “bash” a member of staff if they didn’t open the till. He then snatched £100 and the robbers fled.

A woman staff member was left shaken and shocked, Miss Smart said.

Skelly and another man then targeted Farmfoods, also on Tong Street, at 8.20pm the following day.

Each was masked and Skelly was armed with a machete while his accomplice had a knife that he held towards a member of staff.

Skelly demanded that the till be opened and swung the machete at a male staff member, causing a deep cut to his hand.

The man managed to run out into the street and call the police while the robbers attempted to prise open the till with the machete. They were unsuccessful and fled empty-handed.

On September 18, Skelly was back at the same Subway store to raid it again. One of the staff members robbed by him three days earlier was again to fall victim, Miss Smart said.

Skelly had a machete that he hit the counter with, threatening to “cut up” a staff member if the till wasn’t opened.

He grabbed £50 leaving a female staff member frightened and saying she had feared for her safety during the robbery.

Skelly pleaded guilty to two robberies at Subway and an attempted robbery at Farmfoods.

The court heard that he had 17 previous convictions for 31 offences, including a robbery in 2012 when he was jailed for 42 months.

He was on licence at the time for offences of burglary and theft.

Skelly’s barrister, Taryn Turner, said he knew he was going to prison for a lengthy period.

There had been concerns over his mental health after he reported hearing voices but a psychiatric report had found him fit to plead.

“It’s accepted that these are very unpleasant offences indeed committed over a very short period of time,” Mrs Turner said.

She conceded that the “terrible crimes” would have left staff members at the shops traumatised.

“He is apologetic and can’t believe he has involved himself in this gross offending in the way that he has,” Mrs Turner said.

Skelly was working as a barber while on remand in Leeds Prison and he was no longer under the influence of illegal drugs.

Judge Andrew Hatton said that Skelly fulfilled the legal criteria for dangerousness and an extended sentence was needed to protect the public. The custodial part was eight years with a five-year extended licence period.

Skelly will serve two-thirds of the eight years behind bars before The Parole Board decides if he can be released.