This is the moment brave shopper took mobile phone footage of raid on Leeds jewellers

This was the moment a courageous shopper took mobile phone footage which helped catch a thug who used "extreme violence" during a robbery at a jewellers.

Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 11:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 11:17 am
The footage captured career criminal Gareth Newby as he used a metal bar to smash his way to 6,000 worth of jewellery.

A judge praised the bravery of the woman who filmed three men smashing their way through glass cabinets at the store in Seacroft, Leeds.

Members of the public and staff at Brown and Gold pawnbrokers screamed during the raid on December 29 last year.

The footage captured career criminal Gareth Newby as he used a metal bar to smash his way to £6,000 worth of jewellery.

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The footage captured career criminal Gareth Newby as he used a metal bar to smash his way to 6,000 worth of jewellery.

Newby, 34, and two other men then drove off in a stolen Leeds city council van.

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A taxi driver also tried to intervene by reaching into the van and spraying them with red dye as they drove off.

Newby - who has previous convictions for robbery - was arrested after he was recognised from the footage.

Leeds Crown Court heard also cut his hand on the glass left his blood at the scene.

Newby was given an extended prison sentence totaling eight years after being told he was a serious danger to members of the public.

Recorder Felicity Davies told Newby: "The enormous violence and the noise created is audible on the mobile phone footage taken by the alert and courageous members public.

"It makes it clear how terrifying the incident was."

Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said the three men had their faces covered and wore sunglasses as they burst into the shop at 10.30am armed with metal bars.

Three members of staff and a customer were in the shop at the time.

One of the men jumped on a counter during the robbery in which cabinets were smashed to get to the jewellery.

Miss Pearson said: "A passing member of the public saw what was happening and very bravely got pretty close and filmed the incident."

The prosecutor said it was the second time the shop had been targeted in recent years.

The assistant manager had been present both times.

She read a victim statement on his behalf describing how he was now terrified of being in the shop.

She added: "He wants those responsible to be brought to justice and to know what harm it has caused him. He says this is 'not a faceless attack'.

The shop's owner said he was unsure whether he could go on running the business after the latest attack.

Newby, of Coldcoates Close, Gipton, was also responsible for stealing the getaway van from the home of a man in Harehills the previous.

He pleaded guilty to robbery and two offences of theft.

Craig Sutcliffe, mitigating, said Newby severed a tendon in his hand on the glass cabinet during the raid, causing permanent injury.

He said: "This may be an element of justice that the defendant has meted out to himself."

Mr Sutcliffe said Newby pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage.

Newby must serve a custodial period of six years, of which he must serve two-thirds in jail, followed by a further two years on licence.

Recorder Davies added: "The viewing of the footage is an indication of the terror caused by the violent use of the tools that you had with you in order to smash your way in to the jewellery."

Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of Leeds District CID, said: “This robbery took place mid-morning at a busy shopping centre and was a frightening experience for the staff involved and for the members of the public who witnessed it.

“Our investigation has resulted in Newby being convicted and sent to prison but we are still continuing to carry out enquiries to identify the other men involved.

“A member of the public had the presence of mind to film the robbery in progress and we hope that footage may assist in identifying the other two men.

“We would like to hear from anyone who recognises them from their clothing or who has any information that could assist the investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC 2955 Young at Elland Road via 101 quoting crime reference 13180650128.

Information can be passed on anonymously by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.