‘No face, no case’ approach failed to protect masked Leeds Samurai-sword shop robbers

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A leading officer investigating the terrifying Leeds Samurai-sword robberies has blasted criminals’ “no face, no case” approach, after their voices helped bring them to justice.

Jeffrey Chikosha and Brandon Jarrett were jailed for a combined total of 15 years and nine months at Leeds Crown Court this morning for three violent shop robberies in which they brandished swords at terrified staff.

In the space of nine days they hit Skelton Wood Post Office on White Laithe Approach in Whinmoor, the Londis store on Wetherby Road and the Co-op, on Selby Road. They got away with thousands of pounds in cash, booze and cigarettes.

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But they were eventually caught after a Leeds detective recognised the voice of Chikosha from the CCTV footage taken from one store.

Chikosha (left) and Jarrett thought they could get away with the robberies by covering their faces.Chikosha (left) and Jarrett thought they could get away with the robberies by covering their faces.
Chikosha (left) and Jarrett thought they could get away with the robberies by covering their faces.

Detective Inspector Vicky Vessey, who heads Leeds District Crime Team, said: “We know that offenders like them brag about ‘no face, no case’ if they wear masks while committing offences, but DC Alan Andrews’ detailed knowledge of local criminals and investigative skills have shown them that their arrogance is misplaced.

“Jarrett and Chikosha are prolific criminals who were responsible for this series of armed robberies that saw the victims put through really frightening ordeals.

“They were masked and armed with Samurai swords during these incidents and the victims were put in genuine fear that they could get seriously hurt. We do not underestimate the traumatic impact that these incidents will have had on them.

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“The footage from the robbery at the Londis store shows very starkly what a terrifying experience this was for those involved.

“It is important that we recognise the incredible bravery of the customer who, despite facing three masked men armed with swords, stood up to them, fought back and chased them from the store.

“While we always advise people caught up in such potentially dangerous situations to put their safety first, his actions clearly made the difference in bringing this incident to a conclusion before anyone was seriously hurt.

“Jarrett and Chikosha have demonstrated that they give absolutely no thought for the terror and trauma that they brought to people’s lives during these incidents. We hope the significant sentences they have received will help to reassure the victims and the wider community.”