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21 January 2019, 17:45 | Updated: 21 January 2019, 17:46
A carjacker who targeted several women in a string of robberies while armed with a gun has been jailed for 18-and-a-half years
50-year-old Mark Stokes targeted six victims in the space of two days in the Quinton and Harborne areas of Birmingham, each time wearing a balaclava.
Birmingham Crown Court heard how he left the victims feeling traumatised after threatening them with a handgun.
Stokes, of Summerfield Road, Woodgate Valley, began the crime spree of the 4 February last year in Northfield Road, Harborne, after forcing a woman from her VW Scirocco before driving off.
West Midlands Police say he made further attempts over the proceeding 48 hours.
The jury were told how at during one robbery, Stokes fired his weapon, understood to be a handgun, at the window of one vehicle in an attempt to intimidate his victim.
Further attempts were made to steal cars in the War Lane and then Wolverhampton Road South in Harborne on February 6th.
Stokes was eventually arrested after police examined CCTV footage and found he was wearing the same clothes as those captured in the images.
West Midlands Police’s investigating officer, Detective Constable Lee Reeday, said: “These were shocking offences targeting female drivers, some of which were committed in broad daylight with a firearm.
“The pistol was a ball-bearing gun, not a genuine weapon, but the victims would not have known that when Stokes was pointing it at them.
“We recovered two of the three stolen cars and compiled a strong evidential case against Stokes. The jury found him unanimously guilty and I’m pleased the sentence handed down reflects the seriousness of Stokes’ offending.
“We know another man was involved in at least one of the carjacking attempts and the home invasions and enquiries are on-going to identify him.”