Masked robber threatened Tesco staff with hatchet and stole designer handbags and dresses in Leeds city centre burglary spree

A robber threatened staff with a hatchet during a masked raid at a Tesco Express store as a part of a spree of violent raids across Leeds

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 5:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 5:49 pm
Bernard O'Reilly

Bernard O'Reilly terrified members of the staff during the raid at the shop on Selby Road, Halton, Leeds.

O'Reilly was also responsible for burglaries at designer stores in Leeds city centre in which high value dress and handbags were stolen.

Leeds Crown Court heard O'Reilly and an accomplice were wearing balaclavas when they targeted the store at 11pm on January 26 this year

A member of staff was grabbed around the neck, dragged back into the premises and forced over to the till area.

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O'Reilly threatened two other members of staff and demanded money as he held the hatchet over them.

The other men then took money from a till.

The pair left with just over £1,000 in cash.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said the money had a tracker device which police traced to a house on Aysgarth Drive, in East End Park.

O'Reilly, 39, was at the address and sports clothing was recovered similar to that which one of the robbers was wearing when the incident was captured on CCTV.

He was also linked to the robbery from DNA recovered from the scene.

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One said: "This weapon could have seriously harmed or killed me if he had hit me with it."

O'Reilly, of North Farm Road, Gipton, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

The defendant asked the court to take eight further offences - five robberies and three burglaries - into consideration.

The schedule of offences includes:

A burglary at Karen Millen, in the Victoria Quarter, on June 4 last year, in which dresses were stolen.

A burglary at Michael Kors, Briggate, on June 14, where 17 handbags were stolen.

A burglary at Diesel, Vicar Lane, on October 8.

Three robbery offences on Easy Road, Richmond Hill, on January 21 and 25, and February 13.

A robbery at an off-licence on Haslewood Drive, Burmantofts, on January 29.

The court heard the offences were committed to fund £300 heroin and cocaine habit.

O'Reilly was given an extended sentence totalling nine years.

He must serve a custodial term of six years followed by a further licence period of three years.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told O'Reilly: "You present a significant risk of committing serious offences of a similar type in the future.