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Custodial sentence for Leeds robber

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A man has been sent to prison for his part in an armed robbery at a local venue.

Ashley Holmes, 25, has been sentenced to five years, four months following the attack at Belle Isle Working Men’s Club, in Leeds.

Holmes and an unknown accomplice had stormed into the club on May 26 this year, just as a couple of trustees were opening up the premises.

The masked men, who were armed with a knife and claw hammer, had thrown one of the trustees to the ground. The victim had struck his head in the fall.

Despite their brutality, the robbers were forced to flee empty-handed and Holmes had made the fatal mistake of throwing the blade into a nearby garden.

The weapon was recovered by police and found to contain traces of the defendant’s DNA.

Three days later, officers visited his home and found their suspect hiding in the base of a divan bed.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Holmes had also been linked with an earlier offence, in which cases of Irish whiskey, worth £38,000, were stolen from the back of a lorry in Northamptonshire.

Holmes, who lives in Belle Isle himself, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted robbery, theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage.

Det Insp David Roberts, from Leeds District CID, said: “Holmes put the victims through a terrifying ordeal. The couple, who are in their sixties, were forced to the floor at knifepoint and assaulted during a violent struggle after he and an accomplice confronted them as they entered the club.

“This was a cynical attack on this popular local club by someone living in the area and we hope that seeing Holmes brought to justice will provide some reassurance to the victims and the local community.”

Robbery is a very serious offence and those that have been charged should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. At Lester Morrill, our experienced team can advise you on all the options available. To find out more about how our Leeds-based solicitors can assist, please contact us today.

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