The biggest court cases heard at Sheffield Crown Court this week

Several criminals have been brought to justice at Sheffield Crown Court recently, and here is a round up of the biggest cases from the past week.

Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 1:27 pm

RYAN HADDINGTON: 16 MONTHS’ PRISON FOR SERIAL BURGLAR

Sheffield Crown Court heard on April 11 how Ryan Haddington, aged 32, of Norfolk Park Road, at Norfolk Park, Sheffield, initially broke into Sheffield Community Church, on Guildford Avenue, and stole £6,000 worth of video equipment which had been used for remote services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prosecuting barrister Gurdial Singh said a rear door was forced open at the centre on August 15, 2021, and the video equipment was taken.

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These are the faces of seven drugs gang members jailed for their roles in a lucrative operation growing cannabis plants at properties across South Yorkshire. Left row, top to bottom: Thomas Coward; Michael Coward; Thomas Haigh Middle: Robert Coward Bottom row, top to bottom: Adam Hudson; Gareth Lee; Lucy Crichton

Mr Singh added Haddington also burgled the El Paso restaurant, on Cumberland St, near The Moor, on September 9, 2021, and as police went to a burglary at The Green Room, on Devonshire Street, they were called to a further burglary at Sundaes Gelato, on Glossop Road, and another individual was found nearby with a holdall with goods from El Paso.

Judge Peter Kelson QC told Haddington: “There was a spree of offending and it is against the backdrop of a criminal record for which there are 31 offences.”

Haddington, who has 15 previous convictions for 31 offences, pleaded guilty to all the burglary matters and he requested that two further burglaries at Wellies Diner, on Charles Street, and the Union Diner, on Cumberland Street, be taken into consideration.

Judge Kelson told Haddington custody is inevitable before sentencing him to 16 months of custody because the defendant had also still been on licence following his previous release from prison.

Police on Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, following a reported shooting in February. Qamar Nain appeared at Sheffield Crown Court charged in connection with the incident. The 26-year-old, of St Stephen’s Road, Eastwood, in Rotherham, denied attempted murder and of possessing a firearm and ammunition

SOHAIL RAMZAN AND MUHAMMAD AHMAD: TEENS ROBBED ELDERLY MAN IN ‘MEAN AND UNPLEASANT’ BOXING DAY ATTACK

Sohail Ramzan and Muhammad Ahmad attacked the complainant from behind as he was making his way home from a supermarket in Fir Vale at around 7pm on December 26, 2020, Sheffield Crown Court heard on April 8.

Passing sentence, Recorder Richard Wright QC told the pair: “No doubt having planned the attack, you did [attack him], knocking him to the floor, keeping him to the ground and rifling through his pockets, stealing his cards and making off.”

He added: “This was a mean and unpleasant offence. It would have been extremely distressing for him.”

Police outside the Queer Junction nightclub in Sheffield city centre. Awil Ahmed, 27, of Greenland Walk, Greenland, is due to stand trial at Sheffield Crown Court on September 1 this year, charged with wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm

Prosecuting barrister Amy Earnshaw said the complainant did not see the faces of his attackers because it was dark, but heard their voices and noted that they ‘sounded young’.

She described how a member of the public came to the complainant’s aid and helped him some of his way home.

Following the atack, the complainant called the police and reported his bank card as stolen, by which time it had already been used fraudulently at Owler Lane petrol station, the court heard.

Ms Earnshaw told the court that police officers subsequently attended the petrol station to check the CCTV, which showed ‘two males using the bank card’, and they began conducting an ‘area search’.

Numerous criminals have been brought to justice at Sheffield Crown Court recently

"Having passed Pepe’s takeaway, they saw two males meeting the description of the males on the CCTV,” said Ms Earnshaw, adding that the two males were arrested and were identified as Ramzan and Ahmad, both of whom were 17 at the time.

Ramzan, 19, of Horndean Road, Fir Vale, and Ahmad, also 19, of Downham Road, Firth Park, both pleaded guilty to offences of robbery and false representation at an earlier hearing.

Summarising the defendants’ mitigation and the conclusions of their pre-sentence report, Recorder Wright said it was ‘absolutely plain’ that the pair had ‘grown up’, noting that they have both found employment since the incident.

Recorder Wright said he felt able to suspend their sentences of 18 months’ custody for 18 months, due to their age at the time of the offence and the delay in the matter reaching court.

He also ordered them to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

QAMAR NAIN: DENIES ATTEMPTED MURDER OFFENCE AND WILL NOW STAND TRIAL

Burglar Ryan Haddington, who struck at a Christian centre and several nightspots across Sheffield city centre, has been put back behind bars.

Qamar Nain, 26, was brought before the Recorder of Sheffield Judge Jeremy Richardson QC at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday, April 11 for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

Nain, of St Stephen’s Road, Eastwood, in Rotherham, is charged with attempted murder and possessing a firearm and ammunition when prohibited, relating to an incident on Ecclesall Road on February 7 this year, when shots were reportedly fired towards a vehicle.

Nain entered not guilty pleas to all charges he faces, and is now due to stand trial at Sheffield Crown Court on August 22.

The trial is scheduled to last for at least five days.

Judge Richardson remanded Nain into custody during the hearing.

A 20-year-old man suffered what police described as ‘serious injuries’ during the incident on Ecclesall Road.

AWIL AHMED: 27-YEAR-OLD TO STAND TRIAL ACCUSED OF WOUNDING RELATING TO STABBING OUTSIDE NIGHTCLUB

Awil Ahmed denied the offence of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm during a hearing in front of Judge Peter Kelson QC at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday, April 11.

During the course of yesterday’s hearing Ahmed, of Greenland Walk, Greenland was remanded into custody.

He is now due to stand trial at Sheffield Crown Court on September 1 this year.

The trial is expected to last for two days.

Ahmed was charged in connection with an incident which took place outside Queer Junction in the early hours of Thursday, March 11 this year, in which a 35-year-old man was stabbed.

The victim’s injuries were not deemed to be life-threatening, a spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said when details of the incident were released shortly afterwards

ROBERT COWARD; MICHAEL COWARD; THOMAS COWARD; THOMAS HAIGH; GARETH LEE; ADAM HUDSON; LUCY CRICHTON: SEVEN DRUG GANG MEMBERS JAILED OVER CANNABIS OPERATION

Sheffield Crown Court heard last week how gang members from Rotherham, Swinton and Mexborough were charged with offences including conspiring to produce cannabis, conspiring to acquire and convert criminal property, being the occupiers of premises used for cannabis production and possessing criminal property.

David Gordon, prosecuting, said Robert Coward, aged 39, of Telson Close, Swinton, Rotherham, was at the centre of this operation and he had recruited others into an enterprise involving cannabis farms and the laundering of thousands of pounds of proceeds.

Judge Graham Reeds QC said: “Each of the other people who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce cannabis did so because of Robert Coward involving them for money for growing crops of varying size.”

Robert Coward pleaded guilty to conspiring to produce cannabis between February, 2010, to February, 2018, and to conspiring to acquire and convert criminal property between April, 2010, and April, 2016.

His parents Michael Coward, aged 68, and Lynn Coward, aged 66, of Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham, both admitted conspiring to acquire and convert criminal property between April, 2010, and April, 2016, and to being the occupiers of a property, namely Lynn’s Chippy, on Main Street, where they allowed the production of cannabis in a flat.

Mr Gordon said a flat was found above Lynn’s Chippy with remnants of a cannabis grow to which Michael and Lynn Coward’s other son Thomas Coward accepted responsibility.

Thomas Coward, aged 37, of St Margaret’s Drive, Swinton, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to conspiring to produce cannabis between February, 2010, and February, 2018, after growing equipment was also found in a vehicle and to possessing criminal property after he was found with an undeclared income of £43,929.

Others who pleaded guilty to conspiring to produce cannabis included: Thomas Haigh, aged 37, of Newsam Road, Kilnhurst, Rotherham; Gareth Lee, aged 30, of Middle Avenue, Rawmarsh, Rotherham; Jamie Lee, aged 32, of Goodwin Avenue, Rawmarsh; Jake Bull, aged 31, of South Street, Rawmarsh; and Jody Sheppard, aged 40, of Providence Street, Greasborough, Rotherham.

Adam Hudson, aged 27, of Hallgate, Mexborough, and Lucy Crichton, aged 37, of Zamor Crescent, Thurcroft, Rotherham, were both found guilty of conspiring to produce cannabis after a trial.

Robert Coward received three years and nine months of custody, Thomas Coward received 46 weeks of custody, Michael Coward got 33 weeks of custody and Lynn Coward received 22 weeks of custody suspended for 18 months with a 22-week curfew.

Judge Reeds told Haigh, Hudson, Gareth Lee and Crichton: “To a greater or lesser extent you were all growers of significant quantities of cannabis on behalf of Robert Coward.”

Haigh received 12 months of custody, Hudson received 36 weeks of custody, Gareth Lee received 29 weeks of custody, and Lucy Crichton received 12 months of custody.

Judge Reeds told Jamie Lee, Bull and Sheppard: “You were growing cannabis as part of an agreement with Robert Coward.”

Jamie Lee received 22 weeks of custody suspended for 18 months with a 22-week curfew, Bull received a 12-month community order with a 15-week curfew, and Sheppard received 15 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a 15-week curfew.