Armed Leeds robber tied up women

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TWO shop workers were threatened with a fake handgun before being tied up during a robbery at a newsagent’s.

Luke Hayward, 21, was jailed for five years, three months, after a court heard how the two women were left traumatised by the ordeal.

Hayward sobbed as he read a letter of apology at his sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court.

He spoke of his shame at what he had done and said he wished to apologise to the victims in person. After the case, one of the victims said: “He was only crying because he has been caught. I do not want to see him ever again.”

Hayward and another man, who has still not been identified by police, burst into McColl’s newsagents on Broadgate Lane, Horsforth, Leeds, shortly before closing on April 23 this year.

The robbers were wearing crash helmets and had their faces covered with scarves. Hayward’s accomplice threatened the women with what appeared to be a black handgun.

Both victims were ordered into a back room and told to open a safe. The robbers took £1,000 in cash from the safe as well as the victims’ mobile phones and handbags.

They then used cable ties to tie the victims’ hands. The women were ordered to lie on the floor and not move until the robbers had left the store. One of the women managed to use a pair of scissors to untie herself and then called police. Hayward was traced after his DNA was found on one of the cable ties.

Hayward, of Craggside Walk Kirkstall pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.

Philip Goldberg, mitigating, said Hayward agreed to take part in the offence as he owed the other robber money and threats had been made against him and his family.

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Picture by Simon Hulme

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