Three men involved in two terrifying armed robberies in Leeds have been jailed for a total of 40 years 6 months.
The men were caught following an investigation by detectives in north-east Leeds into a cash delivery robbery at Halton Post Office, in Cross Green Lane, in July 2012 and an attempted robbery at Osmondthorpe Stores, in Osmondthorpe Lane, in January last year.
In the Halton robbery, a security guard delivering cash to the post office was confronted by two men wearing balaclavas and armed with a handgun and a large knife.
They threatened to kill the guard unless he handed over the cash box, which he did. The men then forced him out of the post office to the rear of the security van, which was parked outside with his colleague inside.
One armed with a large knife approached the 21-year-old male assistant and assaulted him before he managed to escape out of the shop.
At the same time, the second man was attaching a tow rope to a free-standing cash machine within the store before tying the other end to the rear of Honda Accord that had reversed up the shop.
The car drove off in an attempt to drag the cash machine out but the tow rope snapped. The men then drove off in the car which was found abandoned and on fire nearby.
Police released this CCTV footage of the attempted robbery of the cash machine:
Patterson, aged 29, of Levens Place, Halton Moor, pleaded guilty to the Halton Post Office robbery and was sentenced to 11 years 3 months years in prison. He was not implicated in the Osmondthorpe Stores incident
Matthew Richardson, aged 29, of Manor Farm Road, Middleton, pleaded guilty to the Osmondthorpe Stores attempt robbery and was sentenced to 11 years 3 months. He was not implicated in the Halton Post Office robbery.
Gavin Ross, aged 28, of Neville Parade, Osmondthorpe, was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery in relation to both offences and sentenced to 18 years.
– Detective Inspector Richard Holmes
These were very serious offences committed by offenders who thought nothing of threatening innocent people with weapons including a gun and knives. They were terrifying ordeals for the victims and witnesses involved who, despite the trauma they suffered, co-operated fully with the investigation that brought these men to justice.