Lichfield man jailed for his part in string of robberies and burglaries

A Lichfield man is among a gang jailed for a series of robberies and burglaries.

Connor Robertson

Connor Robertson

Connor Robertson, of Wood End Lane, is one of 14 sentenced for raids believed to have seen property, vehicles and £1million in cash stolen.

The 25-year-old – who went on the run after being charged in 2014 – was jailed for 12 years and six months for conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to steal.

Other members of the gang have also been sentenced:

  • Mark Hazel, aged 35, of Leaside Avenue, Rugeley, was jailed for eight years for conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to burgle.
  • Aaron Leathem, aged 24, of Gipsy Lane, Birmingham, was sentenced to 15 years and six months for conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to burgle, conspiracy to steal and additional conspiracy to burgle.
  • Anthony Edwards, aged 28, of Cardwell Road, London, was sentenced to nine years for conspiracy to rob.
  • Khuram Razaq, aged 25, of Stoney Lane, Birmingham, was jailed at an earlier hearing for 12 years for conspiracy to rob.
  • Simon Walker, aged 34, of Turnberry Road, Birmingham, was jailed at an earlier hearing for nine years for conspiracy to rob.
  • Gary Abbots, aged 21, of Brookvale Park Road, Birmingham, was sentenced to six years for attempted robbery.
  • Ben Crofts, aged 24, of Brookvale Park Road, Birmingham, was sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to burgle.
  • Chad Lee, aged 25, of Hartwell Road, Birmingham, was jailed at an earlier hearing for 27 months for conspiracy to burgle.
  • Irfan Bonner, aged 28, of Faulkners Farm Drive, Birmingham, was jailed for 10 years and six months for conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to steal.
  • Wayne Stokes, aged 31, of The Ridgeway, Birmingham, was sentenced to 10 years for conspiracy to rob and an additional robbery.
  • Tyrone Reid, aged 25, of Cromwell Street, Dudley, was sentenced to seven years for conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to steal.
  • Samsad Duha, aged 24, of Olton Boulevard West, Tyesley, was jailed for 27 months for conspiracy to burgle.
  • James Mallett, aged 43, of Shawberry Avenue, Birmingham, was jailed for three years for conspiracy to burgle.

Among the crimes committed by the gang was a 2013 robbery at the Co-op on Common Lane in Fradley and the HSBC bank on Lichfield Road in Four Oaks in the same year – the latter seeing the gang get away with £700,000.

Robertson later went on to carry out crimes while on bail, including robberies at Co-op in Alrewas and the Muckle Corner Service Station.

“Horrific ordeals”

Detective Supt Simon Duffy, from Staffordshire Police’s Major and Organised Crime Department, said the sentencing showed the seriousness of the crimes.

“This is an excellent result and has taken 14 offenders off our streets who between them stole a huge amount of money and property,” he said. “I would like to thank all the victims who supported our investigation.

“Not only did they lose money or property, but some were subjected to horrific ordeals at the hands of these men. They were threatened verbally and physically. It is not what people expect when they are going about their daily business.

“Each of these crimes was extremely well-planned by a team of men who knew exactly what they were doing and were determined to gain as much as possible. They took steps to hide their identities and used vehicles that could not be traced to them.

“But thanks to the hard work and commitment of a dedicated team of officers the crimes of these men were uncovered and they are now paying the price with significant prison terms.”

The court heard that the gang were prepared to threaten violence, use force, and wore balaclavas and wielded crow bars when they committed the crimes. They also tied victims up.

Sentencing the men, HHJ Mark Eades, said: “This was a rampage of multiple offences over much of the Midlands where violence was used, weapons carried and people terrified.

“It was done on a number of occasions which in my experience is extraordinary.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.
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