Six men involved in a series of armed raids on pubs around Leeds have been sentenced to a total of more than 50 years in prison.
In a series of terrifying robberies across the city, masked men threatened bar staff with weapons including knives, machetes and a meat cleaver.
The gang was finally brought to justice after officers pieced together forensic evidence and CCTV footage.
Last week, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard that six robberies had been committed at pubs and a restaurant in the space of just a month.
One particularly harrowing crime took place at The Travellers Rest, in Armley, on August 19th last year. An eight-year-old boy witnessed the robbers threatening the manager at knifepoint, before hitting him over the head with a metal bar.
Six days later, the gang stormed into The Dalesman, brandishing a 24-inch machete and meat tenderising hammer at the landlady and her friends.
The final robbery happened on September 4th, at the Gusto Italian restaurant, in Cookridge. Four men charged into the premises as staff were clearing up, at one point threatening to chop the arm off one of the workers.
Police finally made arrests later that month, after setting up a special incident room to bring those responsible to justice.
Detective Inspector John Dexter, of Leeds District CID, said: “These men were responsible for an absolutely terrifying series of robberies which took place over a short time span and left a large number of victims very badly traumatised.
“The significant sentences [the offenders] have received should serve as a reminder to others of how seriously offences of this nature will be treated. We hope it will also provide some reassurance to the victims and the wider community to see them brought to justice.”
- At Lester Morrill, our solicitors have considerable experience of advising and representing clients facing charges relating to robbery offences. To find out more how we can assist you, contact our Leeds-based criminal law team today.