Hapless Leeds Halloween mask hammer robber jailed six years

Wayne Simpson.

Wayne Simpson.

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A HAVE-a-go-hero tackled a would-be robber who burst into a Leeds family’s home wearing a Halloween mask and brandishing a hammer.

Drug addict Wayne Simpson, 34, threatened Martin Simmonds with the hammer while demanding cash during the terrifying incident in the living room of Mr Simmonds’ home in Victoria Road, Morley, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Mr Simmonds’ friend Alan Schofield tackled Simpson and got hold of the hammer while Mr Simmonds took the Halloween mask from him.

Prosecutor, Nicholas Askins said: “Mr Schofield, with great courage, leapt to his feet and got hold of the hammer.”

Mr Simmonds’ partner Gail Crowther and his young daughter were also in the house during the incident at 9.30pm on March 6.

Mr Askins said Simpson left the house but was followed by Mr Simmonds and Mr Schofield. The court heard Simpson grabbed the hammer back from Mr Schofield before walking away following the attempted robbery.

Police later arrested Simpson, who was found to have a wrap of heroin hidden in his sock. Simpson, of Asquith Avenue, Morley, admitted attempted robbery and possessing heroin.

Jailing him for six-years-and-nine-months, Judge Rodney Jameson QC, told him: “Martin Simmonds is to some degree disabled. There was another able-bodied man who was prepared to tackle you and in the event managed to disarm you.”

Simpson has previous convictions for burglary and robbery. In February 2008, he was handed an indeterminate prison sentence with a minimum four-year tariff after being convicted of possessing a shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence. He was released on licence that sentence in February 2013.

Mitigating, James Keeley, said: “He was working and was trying to deal with his drug problems himself, but I’m afraid got back taking drugs again.

“He is truly remorseful for what he had done.”

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