AN ARMED robber who targeted a social club member of almost £2,000 of takings at gun-point has been jailed.
In a separate incident at the same premises, Shane Henriques targeted a woman as she left the club with fruit machine takings.
Leeds Crown Court heard Henriques was armed with a starter pistol which was capable of discharging blank cartridges. He fired the weapon during one of the incidents at Richmond Hill Community Club.
Henriques was jailed for five years and four months yesterday after pleading guilty to robbery, theft and two offences of possession of a firearm.
Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting, said Henriques targeted Victor Squires, who has run the club for 45 years, on the morning of July 21 this year.
Henriques approached Mr Squires as he walked to a taxi as he took the club’s takings to the bank.
The 24-year-old had his face covered and was holding a gun as he ordered Mr Squires to hand over the money.
Mr Squires threw an envelope which contained the money into the vehicle. Henriques opened the door of the taxi and grabbed the money.
He pointed the weapon at Mr Squires during a struggle in which the victim suffered a cut to his arm. Henriques left his hat near to the scene and it was found to contain his DNA.
Five days before the robbery, Henriques stole a briefcase containing cash from a woman who had just emptied gaming machines at the club.
Members of the public saw Henriques steal the briefcase and began chasing them.
He fired the gun into the ground in a bid to deter people from following him.
The cartridge was later discovered and was found to contain Henriques’ DNA.
Mr Nassiri said one man was brave enough to keep chasing Henriques after he had fired the gun but he managed to get away.
The court heard Henriques has one previous conviction for supplying drugs in 2007.
Stephen Smithson, mitigating, said Henriques was deeply ashamed of what he had done and the disgrace he had brought on his family.
The lawyer said Henriques carried out the offence to pay off a debt. Mr Smithson said his client had handed himself in at Elland Road police station days after the robbery.
He added: “He accepts his punishment and hopefully will then return to his family and the lifestyle he had before.”
Jailing Henriques, judge Rodney Jameson, QC, said: “To fire a gun in those circumstance is a very serious matter as I am sure you understand.
“You had planned what you were doing because you were substantially disguised.”