Nurse robbed of car at knife-point at St James' Hospital in Leeds before it was used to ram raid Tesco during crime rampage

A 'possessed' robber threatened a nurse with a knife outside a hospital in Leeds before stealing her car to go on a crime spree with his girlfriend.

By Tony Gardner
Thursday, 5th March 2020, 5:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th March 2020, 5:10 pm

Cain Staple used the distinctive American left-hand drive car to carry out a ram raid at a Tesco Express store.

Staple threatened to stab another woman with a screwdriver during the drug-fuelled rampage.

He also reversed the stolen vehicle into a car containing three young children.

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Cain Staple was jailed for nine-and-a-half years.

Leeds Crown Court heard Staple, 44, was with his partner Christina O'Neill when he robbed the nurse at 6am on July 6 last year.

The victim parked her car in the multi storey car park near Bexley Wing and was heading to work when she was approached by Staple

The defendant asked the woman for the time but then produced a knife and ordered her to hand over the keys for her car.

Daniel Penman, prosecuting, said: "She feared she would be stabbed and dropped everything to the ground."

Cain Staple threatened nurse with knife before stealing her car in the car park near to Bexley Wing at St James' Hospital, Leeds.

Staple then got into the driver's side of the vehicle and ordered O'Neill to get in before they drove away.

Staple drove over a footpath to escape as members of the public went to help the nurse.

Staple and O'Neill then used the woman's bank card to buy cigarettes and food at a service station in Middleton later that morning.

They also tried to use it at a McDonald's drive-thru on Elland Road but the card was declined.

Stolen was used by Cain Staple to carry out a ram raid at Tesco Express, Low Moor, Bradford.

Later that day O'Neill dialled 999 and said she had witnessed the robbery.

She claimed the suspect had forced her to get into the car before driving her to Bradford.

Police rang her back but she then said she was not willing to co-operate with their enquiries.

Staple and O'Neill carried out a ram raid at a Tesco Express, on Huddersfield Road, Low Moor, Bradford, that evening at 11.45pm.

He reversed the car through a glass door then entered the store and filled a bag with cigarettes and alcohol.

Members of the public witnessed the raid.

Mr Penman said O'Neill stayed in the vehicle and "looked guilt-ridden and shocked,"

She then got out of the car, entered the store and began shouting at Staple.

They drove off before police arrived at the scene.

Staple robbed a woman in a street in Bradford the next day.

He approached the victim holding a screwdriver, held it close to her stomach and said: "Give me your phone or I will stab you."

Staple took the phone after a struggle.

The victim said Staple was screaming loudly at her and "looked possessed."

He then reversed the stolen car into a vehicle containing three children, causing damage.

Staple was arrested at 1pm that day and was taken to Elland Road police station.

He was then taken to Leeds General Infirmary for medical treatment.

Staple became aggressive as he was taken out of the hospital and complained that his handcuffs were too tight.

Mr Penman said Staple, who has hepatitis C, spat in the back of the police van.

Staple, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, theft, burglary, two counts of fraud, two counts of possessing a blade in public, driving while disqualified, dangerous driving and criminal damage.

The court heard Staple has 34 previous convictions for 109 offences.

Many of the offences are for vehicle crime and date back to 1989.

O'Neill, 37, pleaded guilty to burglary and two offences of fraud.

She has previous convictions for burglary, theft and possessing a prohibited weapon.

A victim impact statement was read to the court on behalf of the nurse.

The prosecutor said: "He has shattered her confidence and she feels like she has changed for the worst as a result of this."

James Hayworth, for Staple, said his latest offences were the most serious he had ever committed, despite his long criminal record.

Mr Hayworth said Staple had little recollection of the offences due to him abusing drink and drugs at the time.

The barrister said his client was sorry for what he had put his victims through and accepted he would be facing a long prison sentence.

Staple was jailed for nine-and-a-half years.

Kitty Colley, for O'Neill, said: "She has a history of being in abusive relationships.

"Against that background she became involved with him on that day."

O'Neill was jailed for 13 months.