Trauma experienced during a smash and grab robbery at Deacon & Son jewellers in Marlborough last September continues to haunt the three women on duty at the time, a court heard.

As the five men responsible were sentenced to a combined total of almost 23 years in prison at Swindon Crown Court last Thursday, Judge Douglas Field reflected on the after effects staff were still experiencing.

The quintet, all from Coventry, stole £294,817 in jewels from the shop after bursting through the door shortly after 9.30am on September 17 last year.

All of the stolen items were recovered by Wiltshire Police, which was praised for its good work by the judge, but staff members Karen Deacon, Julie Flack and Belinda Goddard have been left to cope with the psychological effects of the rqaid.

Judge Field said: “This was a well-planned robbery and it has many aggravating features. There was the vulnerability of the premises involved, containing valuable stock, which was clearly targeted.

“All of you were part of a team of five which came down from the Midlands to Wiltshire, carrying crowbars, wearing disguises and rushed into that shop.

"Two of you were smashing through glass units and the three middle-aged ladies were clearly shocked and terrified. They suffered perhaps no physical injuries, but there has been psychological damage.”

Paul Gallimore, 33, Marcus Cohen, 34, Linton Summerfield, 20, Cristian Coulson, 20, and Leroy Green, 35, all said they were recruited the night before the robbery took place.

They drove to Wiltshire on the morning of theraid in a black Seat Ibiza and a gold Citroen Picasso. The Ibiza was left in a village lane far from the jewellers in Marlborough.

CCTV seen in court showed four of the men entering the shop wearing black clothes and balaclavas.

Cohen was seen to grab Karen Deacon by the arm and demand to be taken to the store’s safe. As she led Cohen away, the remaining three smashed through the glass units in the store with crowbars, scooping the valuables into black bags.

Within five minutes the quartet left the shop and were driven away by Green, who was waiting outside. They fled to where the Ibiza was and burnt out the the Picasso to hide forensic evidence.

In the ensuing chase on the northbound carriageway of the A346 and A419, the Seat collided with two vehicles near Great Western Hospital in Swindon and all five ran from the car.

Summerfield, Cohen and Gallimore were caught by police officers soon afterwards.

Green and Coulson were tracked down, days later, through forensic evidence left in the car.

Green was jailed for five-and-a-half years, including six months for a separate attempted burglary, Gallimore five years, Cohen four years and eight months. Summerfield and Coulson received four years each.

Deacon's owner Richard Deacon said: “We are delighted that the robbers have been sentenced and justice will be served.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Wiltshire Police for all their help in apprehending the robbers on the day of the robbery and recovering the property stolen.”