Pair jailed over attempted raid at a Crossflatts store

Keighley News: Paul Totton Paul Totton

Two men have been given substantial jail sentences for a robbery conspiracy, which included an attempted raid at a Crossflatts supermarket.

A Bradford detective, who investigated the attempted armed robbery, last night warned violent criminals they had no hiding place.

Robbery conspirators Paul Totton and Lee Edwards were jailed for 12 and 11 years respectively at Manchester Crown Court. The raids included one at a Tesco Express store in Druids View, Crossflatts, in daylight on November 23, 2010.

Three masked men, armed with a sledgehammer and a crowbar, followed a guard into the shop at 8am, but fled empty-handed when the alarm was raised.

Half a dozen customers were in the shop at the time, including at least two Bingley Grammar School pupils. Nobody was injured.

Detective Inspector Stuart Lyons, of Airedale and North Bradford CID, said: “There is no hiding place for these kinds of people.

“We will always investigate such crimes until we find those responsible, removing the potential threat they pose to our communities.”

Totton, 32, of Salford, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Edwards, 28, also of Salford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to steal motor vehicles.

The court heard that on Thursday, December 2, 2010, three masked men, armed with a crowbar and sledgehammer went into the HSBC bank on Bradshawgate in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

They grabbed a member of staff and a customer, made threats and managed to gain access to the back office from where they stole cash.

They only let the member of staff go when they got to the front door of the bank, at which point they ran out and left in a waiting car which sped off.

Police inquiries showed Totton was part of a group of men who planned and executed the robbery.

Evidence linked him to the theft of the Honda Accord, a reconnaissance visit to the bank using a stolen Skoda Octavia and the robbery itself. Both cars were supplied by Edwards.

The attempted robbery at Crossflatts involved the use of two stolen cars and four offenders.

Detective Constable Dave Clark, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “Totton is a tenacious, violent robber and this sentence is positive news to communities.

“This devastating and often violent crime causes deep distress for the victims.”

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