Violent gang of robbers included a Leek convenience store in their crime spree

A GANG responsible for a series of violent robberies across North Staffordshire – including targeting a Leek convenience store – have been sentenced to a toal of 60 years at Stafford Crown Court today (May 16),
They struck at Premier Stores, in Queens Drive, Leek, in January 2017, which was one of four raids carried out that month.
Seven robberies and five burglaries took place in all, at betting shops, convenience stores and houses in a three-month period from November 2016.
In one house burglary, at an address in Tunstall, the occupier was tied up and had petrol poured over him.
In another burglary in Barlaston, a man was threatened with a sword and needed hospital treatment after he tried to fend off a thrust at his chest.
Craig Trow, from Hanley, was given a 22-year extended sentence, with 18 years to be served in custody. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery on October 17 following a trial at Stafford Crown Court.
Sentencing, Judge Salmon, said: “This was a conspiracy to commit robberies of houses and convenience stores across Staffordshire.
“Weapons were brandished and threats made to staff. There was obvious terror of the staff involved.”
Liam Kamara, 28, of Fenton; Jordan Grocott, 25, of no fixed address, and brothers Sonny and Brandon Williams, 20 and 24, from Blurton, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery in an earlier hearing at Stafford Crown Court.
Kamara, who was also sentenced for affray and theft, was given an extended sentence of 16 years 6 months extended (12 years and 6 months in custody)
Grocott was sentenced to nine years (five years custodial).
Sonny Williams was also sentenced for a wounding where he bit a man’s ear, possessing an offensive weapon and bail offences. He was sentenced to four years.
Aaron Forrester, 22, of Blurton, and Sophie Wilson, 24, also from Blurton, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of converting criminal property taken in the raids. They were both sentenced to 12-month community orders with 200 hours unpaid work.
Detective Inspector Adrian Webb, of Staffordshire Police, said: “We’re glad these men have received lengthy sentences.
“These were very serious incidents where petrol and weapons, including baseball bats, knives and swords, were used to threaten and assert control.
“The actions of these men could’ve been life-threatening, such was the degree of violence used. Indeed, in several of these cases the victims felt as if their lives were threatened during the commission of these crimes and it was a terrifying experience for them.
“We commend the bravery of the victims in helping us to build this case and work with prosecutors to bring them to justice.”