Carjackers convicted to more than 60 years’ imprisonment for crime spree across Midlands
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Four carjackers who used violence to steal high performance cars across Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands have been sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.
Following a tri-force investigation, the men were today (Wednesday 11 March) sentenced for a number of offences including robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.
Luke Mander aged 22 of Kingsbury Road, Birmingham, Paul Doyle aged 41 of Auckland Drive, Chelmsley Wood and Joshua Barrett aged 22 of Greenhill Way, Shirley, were all found guilty in November, following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
A fourth man, Kier Carter, aged 18 from Kingsbury Road, Birmingham, had previously pleaded guilty to some of the offences at an earlier hearing.
Between October and December 2018, the group targeted lone motorists - the majority being women – whilst wearing balaclavas and carrying knives. In some instances they threatened them with violence and weapons whilst forcing them out of their cars, often in broad daylight.
They also stole vehicles from driveways, before driving them on false number plates and disposing of them for financial gain. In total, it’s estimated cars worth in excess of half a million pounds were stolen from the offences.
In Warwickshire, offences included:
· Theft of a Range Rover from Nuneaton on 14 October. All four defendants pleaded guilty to this.
· Theft of three caravans, motocross bikes and a transit van from a motocross event in Weston-Super-Mare on 18 October. Some of the victims were from Warwickshire. All four defendants pleaded guilty to this but Doyle did not plead guilty to the theft of the caravans.
· A robbery at a garden centre near Coleshill on 29 October. Keys to a VW Golf were stolen and a woman was threatened with a knife and pushed to the ground. Barrett pleaded guilty to this.
· A robbery at a supermarket in Coleshill on 9 November. A woman was threatened with a knife and forced to the ground, her VW Golf was stolen. Doyle and Barrett pleaded guilty to this.
· A robbery in Hamshill on 27 November, where a man was threatened at gunpoint and a VW Golf was stolen. Doyle pleaded guilty to this.
· An attempted theft of a Ford Focus at a sorting depot in Coleshill on 13 December. A Vauxhall Zafira, which had been stolen from a golf club in Staffordshire a few days earlier, was used in this offence. Doyle pleaded guilty to this.
The gang were caught after they dropped items at crime scenes, including phones, gloves and a watch. Mobile phone evidence from phones recovered from the group found them linked together and at scenes of offences.
Following a joint investigation between Warwickshire Police, Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Police, Barratt was arrested in October 2018 and Mander and Doyle in December that year by officers from West Midlands Police.
In November, they were found guilty of:
· Joshua Barratt – robbery and possessing an imitation firearm. He was today sentenced to 18 years‘ imprisonment.
· 18-year-old Kier Carter was also sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, having earlier pleaded guilty to his offences.
· Luke Mander – conspiracy to possess an imitation firearm, kidnapping and robbery. He was today sentenced to 16.5 years‘ imprisonment.
· Paul Doyle – possessing an imitation firearm, kidnapping and robbery. He was today sentenced to 24 years‘ imprisonment.
Pictured L-R: Barrett, Carter, Mander and Doyle.
Following the outcome, Detective Inspector Lisa Sears from Warwickshire Police said: “This group terrorised motorists, often brazenly committing these offences in broad daylight, showing a complete disregard to members of the public and their property.
“Today’s result is a culmination of months of cross-border enquiries and collaborative work from across the region, which has led to these offenders being brought to justice.
“I’d like to thank all of the officers and staff involved for their commitment and dedication, including our analysts and police investigators whose work was invaluable to this investigation.”