Violent robber caught with mobile phone at Leeds jail for third time

Liam Turner'.
Liam Turner'.

A violent armed robber has been caught with a mobile phone in his cell at Armley prison for the third time in less than 12 months.

A court heard Liam Turner laughed at prison officers when they made the latest discovery as they searched his property.

Turner was given a 14 year prison sentence in May last year for carrying out armed robberies at a newsagents in Wakefield and a campsite in North Yorkshire.

A month after being sent to the prison in Leeds officers found him in possession of a mobile phone in his cell. He had nine months added to his sentence for that offence.

He received a further 12 months after being found in possession of another phone in September last year.

Dave McKay, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court his latest offence was discovered in February this year when he was told he was going to be moved to a different prison.

Turner refused to leave his cell and was moved to a segregation unit.

His property was searched and a mobile phone was found hidden inside a box made out of matchsticks.

The prosecutor said: “He laughed and said the Prison Service had been looking for it for ages.”

Turner, formerly of Park Avenue, Lofthouse, pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited article in prison.

Kate Bisset, mitigating, said: “I have explained to Mr Turner that it is not ideal to collect convictions in the manner that others collect stamps.”

Miss Bisset said Turner had pleaded guilty to the offence at the earliest opportunity.

Turner had 12 months added to the sentence he is currently serving.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: “This is the third time that you have appeared before this court during your lengthy custodial sentence.

“If you carry on like this the sentences will keep getting longer.”

Turner and another man were jailed to a total of 24 years in May last year for terrorising a shop worker at Sunnyhill Stores, Wrenthorpe, and camp site owners in Bolton Abbey with a fake sawn-off shot gun in a 24-hour crime spree.

Turner was also responsible for two “evil” violent attacks on men in Wakefield city centre.

One involved him following a disabled man into a pub toilet and breaking his jaw. Leeds Crown Court heard a masked man went into the newsagents in August 2015 and pointed the weapon at the woman working behind the counter.

She was ordered to hand over cash and cigarettes worth £400.The next day the pair carried out a robbery at the site near to Bolton Abbey.

The owners, an 84-year-old man and his grandson were in the lounge of their home, which doubles as the reception area for the site. Turner and McGinley walked in with their faces covered and threatened them with the gun and ordered them to hand over cash. The victims were told that there was no cash on the premises. They were then ordered to hand over the Rolex watches from their wrists, worth around £9,000 each. During the robbery one of the men threatened to hit the 84-year-old man.