Bungling Leeds robbers forgot to put on masks

John Maude (left) and Michael Worville (right).
John Maude (left) and Michael Worville (right).
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A pair of bungling armed robbers who terrorised shop staff were caught after forgetting to put on their disguises before being caught on camera.

Michael Worville and John Maude looked directly into a CCTV camera before realising they had failed to pull their balaclavas fully over their faces at the Wine Rack, Street Lane, Roundhay.

The pair were recognised from the footage after the raid on November 28 last year.

They entered the shop armed with a crow bar and a large knife before ordering staff to hand over cash.

They left with around £300 and cigarettes.

Leeds Crown Court heard the pair also targeted the Co-op store on Oakwood Lane, Roundhay, on November 15.

Threats were also made to staff on that occasion before they left with cash and cigarettes.

In a separate incident, Maude rammed a police car after officers followed him as he drove a Fiat Punto through the Armley area of the city on November 10.

Maude then managed to drive off before running from the vehicle. His finger prints were later found in the car.

Worville of Recreation Terrace, Holbeck, and Maude, of Kirkness Court, Morley, pleaded guilty to two offences of robbery. Maude also admitted dangerous driving and driving while disqualified. They were both sent to prison for six years.

Lyndsey Lobley, for Worville, said her client’s offending lacked sophistication as he walked past a CCTV camera without putting on his disguise.

Graham Parkin, for Maude, described how the two men looked directly into the camera before realising they had not pulled their balaclavas down.

The lawyers said both men committed the offences as they had financial problems.

Referring to the impact the robberies had on the victims, The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC, said: “They would have been terrified by the experiences that you put them through.”

Detective Sergeant Mark Atkinson, of Leeds District CID, said: “Maude and Worville were involved in terrifying robberies where the victims were threatened and put through frightening ordeals which have had a lasting traumatic impact on them.

“These men were identified and arrested as a result of an investigation that was launched following a series of similar robberies at shops across Leeds. A number of other people were also arrested which brought a halt to those offences.

“We hope the fact these two have now been brought to justice will provide some reassurance to their victims and the wider community who have suffered as a result of their actions.

“Offences of this kind will always be the subject of a comprehensive investigation and we hope the significant sentences these men have received will send a suitable deterrent message to others who think they can commit crimes without having to face the consequences.”