A robber who targeted travel agents in the Leeds area has been handed a six-year prison sentence.
Ryan Handley, 24, of Huddersfield, had threatened terrified staff with a knife during the armed raids in May last year.
Leeds Crown Court heard last week how Handley had walked into Althams Travel, in Pudsey, and threatened staff with the blade – ordering them to fill a carrier bag with money from the store’s safe.
Six days later he struck again at Thompson Travel, in Horsforth. Again he brandished a knife at staff, this time escaping the scene with £2,000 in cash.
However, a getaway car used during the robberies was traced to Handley’s friend and the defendant’s DNA was found on a hoodie and scarf stashed in the boot.
Forensic teams also found Handley’s fingerprints on a plastic bag he had dropped during one of the robberies.
Court found him guilty of two offences of robbery, one of attempted robbery and two of possessing a bladed weapon.
Judge Sally QC said the travel agents’ employees had been left badly shaken by the robberies.
“You are a young man who is building up a formidable record,” she said.
“In this particular case the victims were all women carrying out their work and were therefore vulnerable.
“For each one of them it must have been a terrifying experience. It is the kind of conduct that these courts will not tolerate because these woman are entitled to be protected in their employment.”
Det Insp Phil Jackson, of Leeds District CID, said: “We hope the significant sentence he has received will provide some source of comfort to the victims and the wider community and also serve as a deterrent to others who think they can commit offences like this without having to face the consequences.”
At Lester Morrill, our specialist criminal law team has a wealth of experience representing those facing robbery charges. Those convicted of the offence can face substantial prison sentences, so it is vital that you seek expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity. To find out more about how our Leeds-based solicitors can assist, contact us today.