This is the moment now convicted robber Mitchell Rhodes flashed the finger as he was arrested – on his birthday.

Seven months later, the 27-year-old was found guilty of robbery by majority verdict at Swindon Crown Court on Friday afternoon.

The Essex man robbed an SN1 Cars driver in Alexandra Road, Broadgreen, on March 1 together with friends Jordan Collins and Landen McCarthy.

Audio from a CCTV camera on a nearby house captured the moment Rhodes got into the passenger seat behind the driver, placed a blade to his face and shouted: “Give me the f***ing money now, give me the money.”

His victim, whose interview with detectives was recorded on video and played to the jury, said to police: “I told him just take anything you want. Just take, but don’t hurt me.” The victim was not cross-examined during the trial as he had returned to Pakistan at the start of the lockdown.

Rhodes stole around £40 to £60 from the cab armrest, before fleeing with his two co-defendants in a Fiat Punto down Manchester Road and off towards the County Ground.

Southend Standard:

Alexandra Road, Broadgreen Picture: GOOGLE

The defendant had denied being part of the robbery, although admitted he had been with Collins and McCarthy earlier that day. He told jurors he had been dropped off at the Rat Trap pub, Stratton, for a date – but had left his phone in the Punto.

He was arrested at Swindon Borough Council’s offices in Wat Tyler House on March 4 – his 27th birthday. The man swore at the Adver’s reporter as he was waiting to be put into a police custody van.

The 12-strong jury took two hours and 40 minutes to find Rhodes, who has a previous conviction for robbery and attempted robbery, guilty by a majority verdict of 10 to two. Rhodes held his head in his hands as the guilty verdict was read out.

Southend Standard:

Mitchell Rhodes swears at the camera as he's arrested in March Picture: ADVER

Judge Jason Taylor QC told the defendant after he was found guilty: “You know that you’ve been convicted of a serious offence for which a lengthy custodial sentence must follow.”

The judge praised the investigation by officer in the case Det Con Lou Kuklinski of Swindon CID: “It’s been extremely well done and extremely well put together.”

Collins and McCarthy pleaded guilty to robbery earlier this year.

A date is yet to be set for Rhodes, Collins and McCarthy’s sentence, but the hearing is expected to take place later this month.

Speaking after the hearing, Det Con Kuklinski told the Adver: “I’m very pleased with the result from court today. This investigation was very much a joint effort between our colleagues from the community policing team and CID.

“It was the work of our uniformed colleagues who first attended the scene and made the arrest that helped piece the puzzle together. Without their work we wouldn’t have been able to secure this conviction.”