THREE men who orchestrated a “violent and menacing” £50,000 raid on a Scarborough jewellers have been jailed.
James Millea, 33, of no fixed abode, Timothy Langford, 22, of James Street, and Jonathan Pell, 21, of Nelson Street, were sentenced to more than 20 years after targeting Rosh Jewellers, in Huntriss Row.
The attack left owner David Haywood with cuts to his hands and a fractured shoulder.
None of the items stolen have been recovered.
Millea was jailed for six-and-a-half years, Pell for eight years and Langford for five years and four months for their part in the raid.
Millea also received an additional three-year sentence, to run consecutively, for conspiracy to supply Class C drugs.
The ordeal forced Mr Haywood to move into more secure premises in Scarborough.
York Crown Court heard Mr Haywood had been closing for the day in December 2010 when Millea and an unknown man, both wearing hoods and scarves and armed with a 12ins knife and a hammer, burst through the door.
They barged Mr Haywood to the ground before smashing display cabinets.
The court heard the men were part of a gang of four, which included a getaway driver and a look-out. They had undergone a dry run several days earlier, but abandoned their plan because their look-out was unsure about taking part.
However, on the day of the robbery he did play his part, warning the rest of the gang about a passing police officer and then giving them the all-clear via a mobile phone as he sat in McDonald’s, in Huntriss Row, opposite the jewellers.
Millea, originally from Liverpool, and Langford both pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the charge of robbery.
Pell was found guilty by jury after a trial.
Prosecuting, Christopher Smith said Millea and an unknown man entered the shop, while Langford waited in an alley in his sister’s van and Pell sat in the restaurant to keep watch.
He said Mr Haywood, who injured his shoulder after falling on a fire extinguisher, scrambled to his workshop at the rear of the shop and pressed an intruder alarm, activating a ‘smoke cloak’ which forced the raiders to flee.
Langford then drove Millea and the unknown man to Liverpool with their haul.
Mr Smith said Langford was caught after telling his sister a lie about having been hijacked while driving her van.
She reported his story to the police and her brother eventually came clean.
His mobile phone, which had recorded text messages about the setting-up of the robbery, led to the arrest of Millea and Pell, who initially denied everything.
Millea, with 28 convictions on his record, appeared for sentencing on charges of conspiracy to supply Class C drugs in Scarborough and possessing a CS gas canister “for protection”.
Pell, who has 30 previous convictions on his record, also appeared for sentencing on charges of possessing counterfeit currency and burglary.
Taryn Turner, for Langford, said her client was very lightly convicted and had been “used” by others.
She added that, since the robbery, her client had been living under the threat of the inevitable lengthy prison sentence, but had still made attempts to settle down with his partner and their two young children and had obtained two part-time jobs to help support them.
She added that Langford was a young man who “is not the brightest” and who had had a difficult adolescence, losing both parents.
For Millea, John Potter said his client had owed loan sharks £6,000 and had been told to start selling drugs to pay them off.
However, after he was arrested and jailed he came out of prison still owing the money and was told to move to Scarborough to sell more drugs.
Again, he was arrested and the plan was then hatched for the robbery, the unknown gang member being sent over from Liverpool to assist.
Glenn Parsons, for Pell, said his client had educational problems which led to him being susceptible to the influence of others and becoming involved in things without giving proper thought to the totality of his actions.
He added that like his two co-accused, Pell had received very little for his part in the robbery.
Speking after the men were jailed, Det Sgt Nigel Farthing, of Scarborough CID, told the Evening News: “I welcome the sentences handed down by the court.
“They send a clear message to anyone committing violent and menacing crimes that they will be dealt with robustly and reflect the severity of the injuries suffered by the man who was working alone at the time of the robbery.
“I would urge anyone who can identify the fourth gang member to contact the police or Crimestoppers immediately.
“This was a nasty incident and the offender should face the consequences of their actions.”
“I would also like to speak to anyone who can help to locate any of the stolen jewellery.”
Anyone with information about the case should contact police on 101, press option two and ask for Scarborough CID or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.