Gang's reign of terror at Leeds adult store, bingo hall, Tesco Express and off-licence

Customers and staff were terrified in two robberies at a bingo hall and raids on an adult store, a Tesco Express shop and an off licence, between June and November last year.

Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 8:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 11:41 am
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Nicoletta Alistari, prosecuting, said three masked men entered the Tesco store in Rothwell just before midnight on June 28.

One of the men was carrying an axe and jumped over the counter and grabbed a till containing £1,360.

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The till contained a tracker device which was traced to a Citreon car parked on Windmill Close, Belle Isle.

The car managed to get away from police officers who went to the street.

They recovered clothing in a bin which contained Thackeray’s DNA.

A footmark was recovered from the scene of the robbery which matched a shoe seized from Battensby’s home two days later.

The Citreon was also later discovered to have been bought by Battensby.

Telephone evidence showed Battensby, Quinn and Sharp had been in close contact before and after the raid.

Two members of the gang targeted Mecca Bingo, on Balm Road, Hunslet, on August 20.

One was carrying an axe and the other a machete with a rusty blade.

A total of £5,683 was taken from the till.

A customer was brave enough to challenge the pair, throwing a stick and a mug at them.

A member of staff threw a wheelie bin at the Suzuki getaway car the two men jumped into before escaping.

Sharp was arrested later that day near to where the Suzuki was parked on West Grange Drive. He still had the car key in his pocket.

The same bingo hall was attacked again on November 9.

Three men armed with knives threatened staff before taking a cash box.

The box was later recovered in the back garden of one of the gang’s associates, Aaron Anson, along with clothing which contained Battensby’s DNA.

Anson is currently serving 13 month prison sentence for perverting the course of justice for his role in helping the gang.

Three gang members threatened two women working at the One Stop Shop, Allerton Bywater, on November 11.

Docherty threatened the victims with a replica firearm.

Cash was stolen from an office before the men left in a silver BMW.

The car was later found burnt out in the car park of the Morrison’s store in Hunslet.

The court heard a victim impact statement from the woman who was attacked at the Pulse and Cocktails store.

She described how she no longer enjoys her job and suffered from nightmares and said the attack “made a right mess of her life.”

A member of staff from Mecca Bingo said the raids had been “shocking and stressful” for staff and customers.

A female member of staff had to take time off work and come customers were too afraid to visit the premises for months.