FOUR Bulwell robbers who showed an ‘alarming level of violence’ have been jailed for a total of more than 40 years.
The gang stole cash from security guards, one of their victims being hit with a baseball bat and another threatened with a hammer, Leicester Crown Court heard.
The quartet were Ashley Charles (24), of Squires Avenue, Anton Sylvester (25), of Leonard Street, Kyle Morgan (25), of Potters Hollow, and Issac McNaul (24), of Bonington Close, Crabtree Estate.
They were brought before the courts as part of investigations into two robberies — an attack on a security guard on May 5 last year while he was at a Tesco store on Infirmary Road, Sheffield and five days later when a guard who was visiting a Nationwide Building Society branch in Anstey, Leicestershire was targeted.
Police said the victims in both robberies were badly shaken and a total of more than £70,000 was taken.
A massive investigation into the robberies was launched by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit’s serious organised crime team, leading to nearly 800 statements being taken.
The gang started to be traced through some of the stolen money being spent in shops, pubs and clubs in Nottingham, Leicester and Loughboough.
When the gang tampered with the cash containers, they set off a security feature which covered the banknotes in Smartwater, an invisible fluid with a special DNA code unique to each container. This enabled money recovered by police to be linked to the robberies.
“This was an organised criminal outfit who executed their plans with an alarming level of violence which left their victims shaken,” said the senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Lecky Grewal.
“They showed little or no regard for anything other than getting hold of the money.”
Charles was jailed for 12 years for the Sheffield robbery after being found guilty after a trial and Sylvester was given eight years after he admitted the Sheffield robbery.
Morgan, who pleaded guilty to his part in the Sheffield and Leicester robberies, was sentenced to ten years and McNaul received 12 years for the Leicester robbery, having been convicted after a trial.
Roxanne Wilson (25), of Moon Crescent, Eastwood, was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 150 hours of community service after she admitted handling stolen property.
Daniel Monaghan (25), of Northall Avenue, Crabtree Estate, Bulwell, who pleaded guilty to handling criminal property and a separate offence of driving while banned, was sentenced to 15 months.
A two-year sentence was also imposed on Farren Melluish (28), of Hallam Crescent East, Leicester, who admitted possessing criminal property.