Lancashire poker robbery gang jailed
Thursday, 1 November 2012
A gang of five machete wielding robbers who targeted a private poker game have been jailed. The five men threatened the group of players at the game in Heysham, Lancashire in 2011 before making off with around £2,000 cash and a number of mobile phones.
Richard Diprose, 25, Harry Ralphs, 21, Lee McDermott, 26, Jason Diprose, 26, and Neil Bradley, 21, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob at Preston Crown Court earlier this week.
Police said that the man who was hosting the game answered his front door and was confronted by a man carrying a pizza box who sprayed him in the eyes with a noxious substance. The balaclava clad gang, some carrying machetes, then entered the house and stole the cash and mobiles. One of the gang also went upstairs and dragged a woman from her bed, an ordeal the victim described as “terrifying”.
Sentences ranged from five to eight-and-a-half years.
"The raid was a frightening experience for those who were at the house, particularly the young woman who was woken up by a masked man," said Det Sgt Colin Forsyth of Lancashire Police.
"The sentences they have been given reflect the severity of their actions and the fact that they used violence, threats and intimidation while armed with weapons in order to plunder a quick source of cash."