Robber jailed over raid at his local Leeds WMC

Ashley Holmes.
Ashley Holmes.
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A robber who attacked two trustees at his local working men’s club and threatened them with a weapons has been jailed.

Ashley Holmes, 25, was jailed for five years, four months over the attack at Belle Isle Working Men’s Club in Leeds.

Holmes and another man targeted the club around 10am May 26 this year as a the couple who work there were opening up the premises.

The two masked men forced their way into the club and the couple armed with a claw hammer and a knife.

The male victim was thrown to the floor and was injured after striking his head on the ground.

The robbers fled empty handed and Holmes threw the knife into the garden of a house near to the club. It was recovered by police and found to contain his DNA.

Officers went to his home three days later and found him hiding in the base of a divan bed.

Leeds Crown Court heard Holmes also stole cases of Irish whiskey, worth £38,000, from the back of a lorry in Northamptonshire in 2013.

He loaded the stolen alcohol into the back of a van and was stopped by police on his way back to West Yorkshire.

Holmes, of Belle Isle Road, Belle Isle, pleaded guilty to two offences of attempted robbery, theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage.

After the case, police launched an appeal to help catch others wanted in connection with the working men’s club raid.

Det Insp David Roberts, of Leeds District CID, said: “Holmes put the victims through a terrifying ordeal. The couple, who are in their sixties, were forced to the floor at knifepoint and assaulted during a violent struggle after he and an accomplice confronted them as they entered the club.

“This was a cynical attack on this popular local club by someone living in the area and we hope that seeing Holmes brought to justice will provide some reassurance to the victims and the local community.

“We are continuing our investigation into this offence and a 25-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman remain on police bail. We are still keen to hear from anyone who has any information that could assist the investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID at Elland Road via 101 or call the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.