Men jailed for armed robberies in Sheffield and Barnsley

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Two men have been jailed for a combined total of nearly 20 years after admitting carrying out armed robberies in Barnsley and Sheffield.

At Sheffield Crown Court today (Friday 8 May), Jason Bell, 45, of Horninglow Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and two counts of possession of an imitation firearm. He was jailed for 11 years.

David Layne, 36, of Fawcett Street, Sheffield pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm and was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

On Monday 9 December 2013, two masked men entered a bookmakers in Hoyland Road, Barnsley. One of the men, Bell, threatened the staff with a handgun before stealing around £500.

On Friday 14 February 2014, Bell and Layne entered the Thorpe House Post Office in Lees Hall Avenue, Norton, wearing masks. They threatened the staff with a sledgehammer and a handgun and while trying to rob the premises, an 82-year-old woman was pushed to the floor suffering a fractured pelvis. Bell fled the scene, but Layne was detained by staff and members of the public until police arrived.

The men were charged in March 2014 and entered guilty pleas at earlier hearings.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Matt Williams said: “These robberies were terrifying experiences for the victims, one of whom sustained a significant injury as a result of this pair’s violent and despicable actions.

“I hope the significant sentences handed to Bell and Layne today offer some reassurance to the local communities that these two are off the streets.

“The victims at the Thorpe House Post Office were exceptionally brave, tackling Layne and holding him until police arrived to detain him.

“Their selfless act has played a major part in putting these men behind bars and we commend them for their courage.”