Wanted Sheffield robber who evaded justice for over four years is finally jailed after wife calls cops
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Sheffield Crown Court heard on August 26 how Richard Horvath, aged 22, of Birdwell Road, Grimesthorpe, played a part in a two gang robberies near Meadowhall shopping centre involving a store worker heading home and an elderly man who had been at the bus station in November, 2015.
Laura Marshall, prosecuting, said after Horvath’s initial arrest he failed to attend court in June, 2017, and a warrant was issued but the defendant was not arrested again until four years and one month later in July, 2021, when he was remanded in custody.
Ms Marshall said: “Both offences were committed at Meadowhall shopping centre over a period of around four hours.
“While neither complainant was able to make a positive identification of the offenders, the incidents were captured by CCTV footage and it was possible to identify each offender from that footage.”
Ms Marshall said the first robbery involved a store worker who was heading home when he was targeted by a group in a Meadowhall car park on November 22, 2015, just after 9.30pm.
One of the group – believed to be Horvath – asked the worker for a cigarette, according to Ms Marshall, before the victim noticed three other males nearby.
Ms Marshall said: “He was grabbed from behind by the male who asked for the cigarette, this defendant, and was then punched by three other males to the face and this caused his glasses to be knocked off and broken.”
The court heard the complainant’s bag was stolen and when it was later recovered it was discovered that a bottle of water and cigarettes had been taken.
Ms Marhsall said shortly after 1am the same group was seen heading towards Meadowhall Interchange when they targeted a 71-year-old retired man who was making his way to Wakefield to attend a model railway exhibition.
One of the group blocked the OAP’s path and another demanded money, according to Ms Marshall, so he handed over his wallet and cash and his digital camera was also stolen.
Ms Marshall said Horvath had been involved in searching the complainant.
Horvath pleaded guilty to the two counts of robbery.
James Baird, defending, said Horvath was aged 17 at the time of the offending and he had been scared of losing his liberty.
Mr Baird added: “He, in fact, travelled back to Slovakia with other members of his family who were returning there because his grandmother was ill.”
Horvath returned to the UK in January, 2021, as a married motor mechanic and was arrested after his wife phoned the police.
Recorder Amy Mannion sentenced Horvath to 48 months of custody.
One of Horvath’s co-accused was previously given a custodial sentence after he was convicted of the first robbery but acquitted of the second robbery.
Two other co-accused were convicted of both counts of robbery and they both received detention in a Young Offender Institution.