A man who was on the run from police has been jailed after a woman was threatened with an axe and robbed in Chelsea.

Mark Toth, 37 (23.5.85) of Shrewsbury Street, Kensington, was sentenced to a total of ten years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty on Friday, 1 April to conspiracy to commit robbery and remaining unlawfully at large. He was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, 17 June.

Toth is the final offender to be sentenced for this robbery. He absconded to Spain after hearing about the arrests of his two male co-offenders who were jailed in May 2020.

The Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce launched a manhunt for Toth and he was arrested on Friday, 25 February when he returned to England for a funeral. He was spotted by officers in photos posted on social media. He was found in a hotel room on Hanger Lane, Ealing.

On arrest, Toth screamed “I’m unarmed” and when police entered the hotel room with a swipe key, with assistance from the staff, he unsuccessfully attempted to break his phone in half before being put in handcuffs.

The victim, a woman in her 50s, was threatened by two men on a moped. An axe was held against her neck during the incident, and she was put in a headlock and forced to the ground.

Toth then attempted to strangle the victim whilst she was on the pavement and he then removed her £25,000 Daytona model Rolex watch, whilst bystanders watched in horror.

Thankfully the victim did not suffer any serious physical injury. The stolen watch has still not been recovered.

The initial investigation into the robbery was investigated by detectives from Central West Basic Command Unit’s robbery team.

The third offender was arrested on the day of the robbery after attempting to move a car that officers knew was linked to the suspects, parked near to where the offence happened. His co-defendant was arrested eight days later.

Detective Constable Peta Lundgren, who led the investigation, said: “This man has at last been jailed for this terrifying robbery.

“The three suspects were quickly identified and two of them were arrested soon after the attack. However, Toth although identified, evaded police by going on the run and fleeing the country following the news of their arrests.

“This sentence should serve as a warning to anyone concerned in serious criminality, we will investigate and will use every tool to find you and bring you to justice.

“We would again like to thank the victim for her cooperation during the investigation, and acknowledge her courage and bravery.”