Masked thugs jailed for terrifying Sheffield raid in front of boy aged eight

Jaron Constantine was sent to a young offenders' institution for two years and eight months after admitting burglary.
Jaron Constantine was sent to a young offenders' institution for two years and eight months after admitting burglary.
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A sandwich shop manager was held prisoner by three masked men who stole his takings in front of a terrified eight-year-old boy.

Mark Horn was followed to his girlfriend’s home in High Green, Sheffield, where he was confronted by the men who were all wearing balaclavas.

Sheffield Crown Court heard two guarded him downstairs while a third rifled an upstairs bedroom – all in front of the young boy.

The raiders fled with Mr Horn’s £220 shop takings, £650 in cash and an iPhone.

But the trio were arrested within hours after neighbours noted their getaway van’s registration and calledpolice.

Steven Mayor, aged 21, of Bellhouse Road, 23-year-old Jordan Clarke, from Butterthwaite Crescent, and Jaron Constantine, 19, of Nether Shire Lane, all Shiregreen, admitted burglary.

Mayor was jailed for three years and four months, Clarke for three years and three months and Constantine was sent to a young offenders’ institution for two years and eight months.

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said Mr Horn, who manages Harrington’s Sandwich Bar on Burncross Road, had taken the takings to his girlfriend’s home on Carlthorpe Grove, High Green, to hand to the owner the next day.

The burglars had called in at the shop at lunchtime, but left when Mr Horn said he had no more hot food.

While at his girlfriend’s house, Mr Horn put the takings in a brown paper bag in a bedroom drawer.

The little boy was playing downstairs in the living room.

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Suddenly Mr Horn was confronted by three men in the hallway, who had entered through the unlocked front door.

Miss Gallagher said: “He was shocked and frightened for the child. He felt trapped and wanted them out.”

The men demanded to know where the money was before one went upstairs and the others stood guard.

Miss Gallagher said: “He tried to put himself between the men and the child who was clearly terrified.

“He felt powerless to do anything. He felt if he did he could be seriously hurt.”

The burglar who went upstairs returned with the loot and said to Mr Horn ‘why did you lie’, before punching him in the face.

Police arrived minutes after the men fled because neighbours had noticed the trio behaving suspiciously in the street earlier that day.

The men were arrested two hours later in a Vauxhall Astra van on Hartley Brook Road.

Police found stolen property, gloves, balaclavas and more than £850 in cash stuffed down a back seat.

Ian Goldsack, for Clarke, said he lacked maturity and was easily led.

He said Clarke did not even need the cash because he had just received a £6,000 payout after falling and breaking his jaw.

Rachael Harrison, for Constantine, said the break-in was ‘out of character’ and he was capable of being a ‘nice, kind, pleasant’ member of society.

Mayor has a partner and a four-year-old son and in the past has served a six-month detention and training order.

Jailing them, Mr Recorder Ray Singh said the victim had suffered a ‘significant’ loss in takings for a small business.

He said: “This had been planned meticulously and recces were carried out by the three of you.

“You must have been aware a child returned home and that did not put you off.”