Sex shop raiders stole money and punched member of staff

A Leeds robbery gang have been jailed after carrying out a series of raids on business presmises in the city.
A Leeds robbery gang have been jailed after carrying out a series of raids on business presmises in the city.

This is the moment masked robbers carried out a violent raid on a Leeds sex shop.

A member of staff at the Pulse and Cocktails adult store was punched unconscious after the gang threatened them with machetes, knives and a fake gun.

Robbers also targeted store and bingo hall in crimewave
A court heard two members of staff were cashing up at the time of the incident at 8pm on November 13.

Leeds Crown Court heard the robbers took cash from the till and from a safe in a back room.

A worker was punched in the face as she struggled to open the safe. The robbers also took the victims’ handbags before leaving.

The incident was part of a series of robberies carried out at business premises in Leeds by five men - Daniel Battensby, Christopher Thackeray, Darrin Docherty, Martin Sharp and Anthony Quinn.

They were jailed for a total of more than 66 years after they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. Just under £10,000 in cash was stolen during the raids.

Staff and customers were ordered to get on the ground and threatened with violence.

The gang members played different roles during the offences. Some threatened staff with violence while others were getaway drivers or acted as look-out.

Sentencing the men, Judge Guy Kearl, QC, said: “This was an extensively planned and organised conspiracy. It involved a group of criminals who did not care they were terrifying people at night with no security staff.

“The effect upon the victims cannot be understated.

“They will have been terrified about what was unfolding before their eyes.”

After the case, Detective Inspector Phil Jackson, of Leeds District CID, said: “These five men were involved in a series of armed robberies in which members of staff at the businesses targeted were put through terrifying ordeals.

“The victims were confronted by masked men who were armed with a range of weapons, including knives, machetes, axes and what will have appeared to them to have been a real handgun.

“They were threatened and put in fear for their lives and, in one case, assaulted. People should not underestimate the lasting traumatic effect these offences have had on the victims.

“A detailed and comprehensive investigation by detectives uncovered a clear trail of evidence that linked those involved to the offences and resulted in their guilty pleas.

“We hope the significant sentences they have received will provide some source of comfort to the victims and also reassure the wider community that these men have been caught.

“We also hope it will send a deterrent message to those who think they can commit offences like this without having to face to consequences.”