Gambling days are over for three men who terrorised staff at bookmakers’ shops in South Yorkshire, including one in Maltby.
For the trio has been sentenced to a total of 33 years in jail for armed robberies that happened in areas of Sheffield and Rotherham within the space of just over a week.
Brett Haslam, 25, from Church Street, Wales, and an accomplice began the spree on April 3 this year.
Wearing balaclavas, the pair struck at Ladbrokes bookmakers in High Green, Sheffield, at 9.20pm, where a woman staff member was threatened with an imitation firearm. The raiders escaped with over £2,000. Their getaway vehicle had been stolen in an aggravated burglary the previous night in North Anston.
Then just five days later, Haslam teamed up with David Nuttall, 25, from Crumwell Road, Kimberworth, and Ben Porter, 20, of Friers Croft, Wentworth, striking twice in quick succession.
The first incident, at 8.15pm at the Mark Jarvis bookies in Thurcroft, saw the gang – their faces covered by balaclavas – threaten staff with a sawn-off shotgun and take more than £1,000, including a £10 tip left by a previous customer. A client fled from the shop.
An hour later they struck at Coral, on Scrooby Street, Greasborough, again threatening staff with the weapon and stealing hundreds of pounds, before making off in the stolen car driven by Nuttall.
Finally, Haslam and Porter entered the Betfred bookies on Muglet Lane, Maltby, at 9.07pm on April 12 and threatened a woman staff member with a wheel brace before making off with several hundred pounds.
Following investigations, Haslam and Nuttall, who were travelling in a convoy of two vehicles, were arrested on April 23 after a stop by armed police.
Officers recovered balaclavas and a blank firing starting pistol from their vehicles. And after searching their homes, police found clothing matching that worn at the time of the robberies, a further fake firearm and, from Haslam’s property, a sawn-off shotgun and money bags linked to the Maltby offence.
On the same day, Porter was also arrested at home in possession of shotgun ammunition.
All three were charged on April 24 and were sentenced on Tuesday, October 1, at Sheffield Crown Court after pleading guilty to the offences of which they were convicted.
Haslam was handed 15 years for four robberies, two charges of possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, one charge of possession of an imitation firearm with intent and possession of a sawn-off shotgun.
Porter received 11-and-a-half years for three robberies, two charges of possession of a firearm with intent and possession of shotgun ammunition.
And Nuttall was jailed for six-and-a-half years for two robberies. He was the getaway driver, but knew what the others intended and of the use of the shotgun.
The judge, His Honour Judge Moore, commended three South Yorkshire Police officers – DS Andy Marsh, and DCs Tom Woodward and Mark Kimberley – for the volume of work undertaken and the strength of evidence brought to court.
Commented DS Andy Marsh: “In addition to the fear caused to staff working in these bookmakers’ shops, this team also caused a good deal of concern among staff in other bookmakers’ across the county during this period.
“The sentences reflect the widespread effect of their actions and the outcome is a pleasing conclusion for the victims and investigating officers alike.”