Jailed: Man, 57, who tried to rob Tag Heuer store in Spitalfields at gunpoint

Paul Hensley in the shop. Pic: Met Police

Paul Hensley in the shop. Pic: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A 57-year-old man who tried to rob a watch shop in Spitalfields at gunpoint before fleeing empty-handed when a smoke device was set off has been jailed.

Paul Hensley, of Code Street, Spitalfields, threatened the female assistant inside the Tag Heuer store with a gun before making her put a number of the high-end timepieces into a yellow bag he handed her.

However the manager of the store in Brushfield Street, was working in the CCTV room downstairs and activated a device which filled the store with smoke after spotting the robbery.

Hensley fled but despite covering his head and face during the robbery he was captured on CCTV in the area without it and detectives quickly identified him.

After his arrest police found in his bedsit a pair of trousers and a glove he wore in the robbery, along with the bag he had handed to the cashier.

He was convicted of attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and today at Snaresbrook Crown Court jailed for six years.

Detective Constable Carl Stallabrass, of the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This is a great example of swift and dedicated detective work that has led to the arrest of a violent and prolific offender.

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“He left the victim of this offence understandably traumatised and he has now been handed a significant jail sentence, preventing him from committing similar offences for the foreseeable future.”