Sheffield gunman wins his appeal

Martin Gaffoor
Martin Gaffoor
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A career criminal who tied two Sheffield students together in a terrifying armed raid has had his prison sentenced reduced.

Martin Gaffoor, aged 37, was jailed for 11 years in November 2012 but appealed against the length of his sentence and had it reduced by two years.

Gaffoor, who was said to have played a ‘leading role’ in the robbery at a house on South Road, Walkley, ambushed his victims with fellow masked intruder Lee Whormsley, 38.

They demanded debit cards and PIN codes from their victims before tying them together with electrical cable and gagging them.

Gaffoor brandished a gun during the raid – pointing it at one victim’s head.

Toni Slinn, 31, obtained cash from the students’ bank accounts once she was supplied with their PIN numbers.

Gaffoor, of Hartley Brook Green, Shiregreen, admitting two counts of robbery, false imprisonment and possessing a firearm with intent.

Whormsley, of Shirehall Road, Shiregreen, was jailed for nine years and Slinn, of Hartley Brook Road, Shiregreen, was sentenced to five years for their parts in the robbery.

Judge Sir Colin Mackay, sitting at London’s Court of Appeal, said the gang escaped with £500 in cash as well as computers and other valuables worth £3,500.

Although no great physical harm was done, the ‘psychological harm must have been considerable’, he added, noting that the break-in was ‘planned and premeditated’.

But he said that because Gaffoor had pleaded guilty and had cooperated with prosecutors, his sentence could be reduced.

Gaffoor, who has more than 120 convictions, was once branded a ‘career criminal’ by Sheffield’s most senior judge at the time – Recorder of Sheffield Judge Alan Goldsack QC.

He escaped from prison in 2007 and spent two months on the run and he was finally caught after a three-hour siege in which armed police surrounded a home in Gleadless.