Robber jailed for raids on Leeds travel agent firms

Ryan Handley.
Ryan Handley.
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A robber who terrified female members of staff at knife-point during raids at travel agent firms has been jailed for six years.

Ryan Handley, 24, targeted vulnerable employees during the offences which took place at businesses in Leeds.

Handley and another man targeted Althams Travel in Yeadon on the morning of May 1 last year but staff managed to lock the door before they could get in after spotting them behaving suspiciously.

Later that day Handley went into Althams Travel in Pudsey and threatened two members of staff with a knife before ordering them to empty money from a safe into a carrier bag. Handley, of New Hay Road, Huddersfield, struck again six days later at Thompson Travel, Horsforth. Staff were threatened with a knife and Handley made off with over £2,000 in cash. A getaway car used during the offences was traced to Handley’s friend. Clothing used during the raids, including a hoodie and a scarf, was found in the boot and contained Handley’s DNA. Handley also dropped a plastic carrier bag during one of the offences which had his fingerprints on. Handley was found guilty after a trial at Leeds Crown Court of two offences of robbery, one attempted robbery and two of possessing a bladed weapon.

Judge Sally, QC, described how the victims had been left traumatised as they feared they were going to be stabbed.

She added: “You are a young man who is building up a formidable record.

“In this particular case the victims were all women carrying out their work and were therefore vulnerable.

“For each one of them it must have been a terrifying experience. It is the kind of conduct that these courts will not tolerate because these woman are entitled to be protected in their employment.”

Detective Inspector Phil Jackson, of Leeds District CID, said: “Handley was involved in a terrifying series of robberies where staff were threatened at knifepoint and put in genuine fear for their safety.

“We hope the significant sentence he has received will provide some source of comfort to the victims and the wider community and also serve as a deterrent to others who think they can commit offences like this without having to face the consequences.”