Crowbar wielding Morley robber jailed for shop raids

John Maude
John Maude

A robber who terrified shop staff when he entered two stores armed with a crowbar and demanded money has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

John Colin Maude, of Kirkness Court, Morley, was sentenced today at Leeds Crown Court alongside Michael Worville, who accompanied him on the raids.

The court heard how Maude, 27, and Worville, 26, targeted a Co-op store on Oakwood Lane in Roundhay, Leeds, on November 15 last year as staff were shutting up shop for the night.

The two men and another accomplice, who has never been traced by police, burst into the store at around 11pm, before Maude threatened a female member of staff and demanded a key to the till.

They were handed a key by the store supervisor before making off with cash and packets of cigarettes.

A fortnight later, on the evening of November 28, Maude entered the back office of The Wine Rack Shop on Street Lane in Roundhay with Worville, who was carrying a breadknife. The pair demanded money from the till, cigarettes and a bottle of whisky, before leaving with £300 in cash.

Maude was apprehended by police while driving in Armley the following month, but as they attempted to arrest him he reversed at speed into their parked vehicle before trying to driving away.

It was heard that the raids “lacked sophistication” despite being planned, with the two men later being identified when they walked past CCTV cameras in The Co-op without balaclavas on, stopping only afterwards to cover their faces.

Maude, who was said to have been under the influence of drink and drugs when he committed the offences, has previous convictions for robbery dating back to 2003 when he was a teenager.

Sentencing the pair as they viewed court proceedings via videolink from Armley Prison, The Recorder of Leeds Judge Peter Collier QC said: “In relation to the first offence, the staff at stores are vulnerable in cases like this. They would have been terrified by the experience you put them through.

“You must now do things to sort yourselves out and you both have indicated that you intend to do that by attending courses in prison and seeking help. The offences are aggravated by the weapons and by your previous convictions.

Worville, from Holbeck, was sentenced to six years in prison.

Maude was jailed for six years for the robberies, with an additional six months for offences of driving dangerously and driving while disqualified.