Police chief warns of consequences of carrying a knife after Sheffield man is jailed for 13 years

Ashley Howarth
Ashley Howarth

One of Sheffield's most senior detectives has warned of the consequences of carrying a knife after a Sheffield man was locked up for 13 years for two armed robberies.

One of Sheffield's most senior detectives has warned of the consequences of carrying a knife after a Sheffield man was locked up for 13 years for two armed robberies.

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Detective Superintendent Una Jennings spoke out after 30-year-old Ashley Howarth, of no-fixed-address, was jailed for using a knife during two violent robberies.

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One of his victims was seriously injured.

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On March 19 last year, Howarth, along with another man and a woman, armed with knives, broke into the home of a 38-year-old drug dealer on Dyche Lane and stole money, drugs and a mobile phone.

Their victim was left with stab wounds to his left leg and left bicep.

On July 2 last year, Howarth robbed a man for his £3,000 motorbike as the biker was at a set of traffic lights in East Bank Road, Heeley

He pulled the young man from his bike and threatened him with a knife before riding off on it.

A tracking device on the bike led officers to Howarth and he was arrested.

He pleaded guilty to both offences and was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court.

The man and woman involved in the first robbery - Bradley Onfroy, 32 and Josie Hollis, 24 - went on to target another drug dealer four days later.

Jordan Hill, 21, of Southey Avenue, Southey, was dealing drugs through a window in his flat when Onfroy jumped inside and repeatedly stabbed him in another knifepoint robbery while Hollis was waiting outside in their getaway car.

Det Supt Jennings, South Yorkshire Police's force lead for armed criminality, said: "The consequences of carrying a knife are grave.

"Whatever the reason for carrying a knife, whether it’s for status or protection, a knife is a lethal weapon and anyone found to be carrying one will be dealt with robustly.

"You could face a lengthy prison sentence, or even a life-sentence if someone is fatally injured. You yourself, carrying the knife, could also end up injured resulting in heartbreak for your loved ones.

"I hope that this sentence reflects the sentence you could face, should you use a knife or be found with one in your possession. South Yorkshire Police are absolutely committed to tackling knife crime and educating those about the dangers of carrying weapons."