Gang of robbers jailed for terrifying home invasions
A gang of robbers who threatened to cut off parts of a man's body, terrified a breast feeding mum and attacked a man in his bed have been jailed for over 65 years.
The callous criminals attacked couples and families in their own homes with weapons including knives, pool cues, baseball bats and a screwdriver.
They threatened to stab their targets if they refused to meet their demands for high-performance cars, cash and jewellery, a court heard.
Bradford Crown Court heard several of the chilling assaults happened in front of children, and in one case an elderly woman was punched in the face.
The “appalling” incidents, which took place in Batley, Drighlington, Eccleshill, Shipley and Fritzinghall, have left the victims suffering “long-term catastrophic effects”.
Timothy Tordoff, 26, Wayne Coleman, 25, and Yasser Nasser, 26, were all sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of robbery following a trial.
Tordoff and Coleman were convicted of eight and two offences respectively, with Nasser also found guilty on two charges.
Dean Coleman, 47, pleaded guilty to four offences of robbery prior to the trial.
All four men are from Bradford.
Christopher Dunn, prosecuting, told the court that the first two robberies, which involved Tordoff, Nasser and Wayne Coleman, had taken place on November 19.
In the first, a masked gang targeted the home of a family from Batley, hitting a man with a fire poker while making threats against his wife and family unless they handed over jewellery and cash.
Mr Dunn said the men then told the victim they would “cut his fingers and body parts” off if he did not tell them where the gold was.
Both his daughters witnessed the attack, with one being hit over the head by Nasser with a piece of wood.
The men stole the family’s Audi A6, said to be worth around £30,000 from the property.
In the second robbery later that night, the men struck a house in Frizinghall, taking cash and a charity box the homeowner’s 12-year-old son was using to collect money for those in need.
Mr Dunn said six further robberies then took place on the nights of January 4 and 5, this year, all of which involved Tordoff.
The first was when a silver VW Golf GTi was taken from a driveway after its 42-year-old owner was threatened at knifepoint.
Around two hours later, another victim was awoken by a man standing beside his bed with a screwdriver at his home in Bradford, saying: “Tell me where the car keys and money are, or I’ll stab you.”
He was repeatedly punched to the face, body, and ribs while the men stole a Vauxhall Insignia, the keys to a Mercedes van, a necklace, iPhones, £500 in cash, and some WWII RAF medals.
Later that night, the gang targeted a couple at their home in Eccleshill, shouting at the man: “Give me the keys or I’ll stab you and your wife.”
The family’s Mercedes A200 was taken from the driveway, with the woman “rendered completely hysterical” as the couple’s 10-year-old son watched the robbers leave.
Mr Dunn said that on January 5, four men wearing balaclavas armed with pool cues entered a house in Drighlington, where a female occupant was breast-feeding her five-day-old baby.
The men demanded money, gold, and the keys to an Audi A4.
Mr Dunn said the baby’s parents had suffered “a terrifying ordeal at a time when they should have been enjoying their home with their new addition”.
In Shipley the men then broke into the house of a couple, again armed with pool cues, The pair had to plead with the gang not to go into their one-year-old daughter’s bedroom, before they left with a pillowcase full of jewellery and the family’s Audi Q7.
In the last robbery the men punched an elderly man and forced him to remove the keys to a Mercedes E250 from a safe, while Tordoff punched his 67-year-old wife before trying to stab her in the face with a screwdriver, only narrowly missing and piercing a hole in the couple’s sofa.
The gang took property worth “upwards of £200,000” from the house, causing “untold suffering” to the couple.
Summing up the offences, Mr Dunn labelled them a “sophisticated home invasion robbery spree, with very significant violence both used and threatened”.
Judge Jonathan Rose said the men had undoubtedly identified the houses they wanted to attack, targeting people at night when they were “most vulnerable and susceptible to fear”.
He condemned the “ruthless brutality” of the offences, which had left “lasting psychological effects”.
“In every case, you were prepared to use, and did use, violence,” he said.
“When violence was used, you were indiscriminate.
“Each of you willingly chose to embark on such brutal offences.”
Jailing Tordoff for 20 years, with a four-year extended licence, he told him: “You have clearly become a determined and highly dangerous young man.”
Nasser was jailed for 16 years and six months, with Wayne Coleman ordered to serve 15 years.
Dean Coleman was given a sentence of 13 years and eight months, with a four-year extended licence.
Tordoff was already serving 32 months in prison for robbing a taxi driver after trying to strangle him with a seatbelt.
Following the sentences, West Yorkshire Police said they were appealing for information to trace “hundreds of thousands of pounds” in stolen jewellery still missing following the robberies.
The items include a 3.7ct marquise shaped diamond ring and an 18ct white gold and diamond flower design bracelet.