Gang of robbers stole Range Rover from 4ft3 actor - before threatening to '˜slice up' his family

Luke Pendlebury on stageLuke Pendlebury on stage
Luke Pendlebury on stage
Three men from Mexborough have pleaded guilty to robbing a Range Rover belonging to a 4ft3 stage actor after one of them threatened to burn his house down if he didn't comply.

A fourth man has been pleaded guilty to attempting the intimidate victim Luke Pendlebury ahead of a fifth person going on trial for the robbery at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday.

Mr Pendlebury, a film, TV and stage actor, said he had been forced to sign documents by the men saying the car had been legitimately sold to them.

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“My life is not replaceable, my car is replaceable,” he said.

After he went to the police, another member of the gang threatened to ‘slice him up and slice his children up’ unless he dropped the complaint.

Luke Blakemore, aged 22, of Laburnum Road, Mexborough, Ryan Taylor, aged 23, of Schofield Street, Mexborough and Joshua Roddis, aged 21, also of Schofield Street, Mexborough, all pleaded guilty to robbery.

John Gilliver, aged 27, of Schofield Street, Mexborough, pleaded guilty to witness intimidation.

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It came ahead of the start of the trial of 30-year-old Sean Chamberlain, of Cumberland Way, Bolton-on-Dearne, in relation to the robbery charge.

Details of the case were revealed as the trial of Chamberlain began in his absence, with the jury told of the guilty pleas of the other men.

Nicola Quinney, prosecuting, Mr Pendlebury had been approached by Blakemore on September 7 last year to say the actor owed him £5,000.

“Blakemore told him that he was being taxed for money that Mr Pendlebury had earned in Blakemore’s area,” she said.

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She said Mr Pendlebury had said he didn’t owe him money and didn’t have £5,000 to give.

She said: “Blakemore reduced his demand to £3,000 and said if he didn’t give him the £3,000 that his car or house would get burnt up.”

Three days later, Blakemore came to the house of Mr Pendlebury with Taylor and forced him to hand over the keys to the car, which Taylor drove off.

Miss Quinney said that Mr Pendlebury rang the police but before they arrived, Blakemore returned to the house with Roddis and Chamberlain - who jointly made the victim sign a receipt suggesting he had sold the car to Roddis for £5,000.

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She said later on a large group of people had come to the house, including Gilliver, who threatened to ‘slice him up’ unless he told police the car was not a stolen vehicle.

She said when Chamberlain was arrested on September 18, he had in his possession part of the Range Rover’s logbook.

Mr Pendlebury said the threats from Blakemore at the start of the incident had been intimidating.

He told the court: “I have never been threatened by anybody in my life.

“It is all new to me. Obviously he is a lot bigger than me.”

The trial continues.