Robber loses appeal over prison sentence for ambushing Sheffield restaurateur

A robber jailed for ambushing a well known Sheffield restaurateur has lost his bid for freedom.

Thursday, 16th June 2016, 11:48 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:26 pm
Jeroham Duncan

Jeroham Julian Duncan, aged 24, formerly of Deer Park View, Stannington, was jailed for seven years and eight months last October after admitting theft, conspiracy to burgle and robbery over a raid at the home of BBs owner Antonio Frusciante.

The businessman, who runs the Italian restaurant in Division Street in Sheffield city centre, was ambushed as he pulled up at his house after a night shift.

Duncan and three accomplices were hiding in the restaurateur's garden and bundled him into his house, where he was kicked and punched by the robbers, who stole £80 and a phone.

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The phone was grabbed from Mr Frusciante's terrified wife, Jill, as she attempted to dial 999 to report the raid.

London's Court of Appeal heard that the robbery was among seven raids in Sheffield which goods worth around £50,000, including four cars, were stolen between May and September 2014.

Duncan, who challenged the length of his sentence this week, was jailed for the raid along with Ashley Phillip Murray, then 24, of Sicey Avenue, Shiregreen; Jamal Ato, then 21, of Middle Hay Place, Gleadless Valley and Jason Andrew Wood, then 27, of Bowshaw Close, Batemoor.

Between them they were jailed for a total of 30 years.

Duncan penned a letter from jail explaining that he has striven to better himself behind bars - particularly since his partner had recently given birth.

But Mr Justice Wyn Williams, sitting with Judge Clement Goldstone QC, said there was nothing wrong with the sentence passed.

He said 'although there were signs he may be seeking to turn his life around,' there was nothing excessive about Duncan's punishment.

Mrs Frusciante, speaking after the robbers were jailed last year, said she was 'elated' at their sentences, claiming 'they deserve every single day of it'.

She was in bed when one of the robbers burst into her room barking 'where's the money?'

Mr and Mrs Frusciante moved out of their home of 20 years after the raid.

detective Constable John Bowerman said the raid was a 'nasty, planned attack which was highly traumatic for the victims'.