A ROBBER who went on the run for six years after a terrifying raid on a Sheffield B&Q store has finally been put behind bars.
Steven Brammer, aged 52, from Handsworth, was part of a masked gang who tied up and threatened 27 workers with knives and machetes at the DIY superstore on Queens Road before making off with more than £16,400.
The robber then went on the run to Spain following the robbery in December 2004, but was caught last year by police officers who found him carrying more than 25kg of cannabis.
Judge Alan Goldsack QC jailed Brammer for 13-and-a-half years at Sheffield Crown Court.
He said Brammer was a ‘professional criminal’ who had previously been jailed for a decade in 1986 for robbing a post office on Park Grange Drive in Norfolk Park.
Brammer, along with accomplice Jason Williams and a third man who has never been traced, cut a hole in a wire security fence behind the Queens Road shop before bursting in at around 6am, brandishing knives and machetes.
Staff had their hands tied and were taken to an office where they were forced to lie on the floor.
One of the masked raiders struck a member of staff so hard with a knife that it broke the blade in two.
The worker suffered a cut finger after putting up his arms to defend himself from another robber, who was waving two knives in a circular motion.
It has never been possible to identify which of the robbers injured the worker, who needed 12 stitches .
Judge Goldsack said he ‘has scars which remind him of the offence until this day’.
One staff member managed to make a tannoy announcement alerting manager Rachel Sands .
Rachel investigated but was grabbed by one of the raiders, who held a machete to her throat while demanding money from the safe.
As the gang helped themselves to money, an employee arriving for his shift saw the robbers and phoned the police, who arrived at the front as the masked trio fled through the back.
Officers gave chase as the raiders escaped, scattering clothes and £12,700 of the stolen money.
The getaway car was recovered nearby.
Williams was jailed for 18 years in 2005. He was identified by DNA found on a pair of discarded tights.
Alexander Taylor-Camara, defending Brammer, said he had been ‘out of the country for a number of years’.
“This is not a defendant who has been living off the spoils of his offending in the past,” he said.
Brammer was jailed for 10 years for robbery in 1986.
He pointed an imitation firearm at a female worker at the Park Grange Drive post office, forcing her to hand over £11,359 in cash.
In 1995 he was sentenced to eight years for possessing 1.5kg of heroin with intent to supply and in 2004 he was convicted of affray.
Mr Taylor-Camara said the cannabis he had when arrested would have earned him a ‘significant amount’, but added: “He’s not someone who has been before the courts year after year.”
When arrested Brammer claimed to have been in Holland at the time of the B&Q raid, producing false documents to support the lie.
“Much more police work has had to be undertaken to break down a false alibi,” Judge Goldsack said.
“You have been a professional criminal for the majority of your adult life.
“The robbery and false imprisonment were professionally organised and executed offences.”
Brammer admitted robbery, false imprisonment and possessing cannabis with intent to supply.
Timothy Capstick, prosecuting, said police were ‘not hopeful’ of bringing the third robber to justice.