Halifax man found guilty of terrifying armed robberies at West Yorkshire hotels

Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax
Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax

A 32-year-old man who was involved in two terrifying armed robberies at hotels in Halifax and Bradford will learn his fate next month.

Halifax man David Berry now faces a lengthy prison sentence after a jury at Bradford Crown Court him guilty of carrying out the two raids with another unknown man over the festive period.

During an early hours raid at the Guide Post Hotel in Low Moor on New Year's Eve night porter Laylay Luasa was confronted by two masked intruders after they forced their way into the premises via a fire door.

Bradford Crown Court heard earlier this week how one of the robbers threatened Mr Luasa with a hammer as he was forced to hand over the keys to the hotel safe.

During the robbery Mr Luasa was told he wouldn't get hurt if he stayed on the ground, but he eventually managed to make his escape as the duo stole more than £2000 from the hotel safe.

On January 2 two robbers targeted the Shibden Mill Inn in Halifax again in the early hours and attacked night porter David Holmes as they demanded cash and property from him.

Prosecutor Stephen Littlewood described how Mr Holmes was confronted by two intruders wearing scarves over their lower faces and carrying knives and a chisel.

Again the duo had forced their way in through a fire door and Mr Holmes was dragged from room to room before being stabbed in the buttock by one of the men during his ordeal.

During the police investigation into the two robberies officers recovered a screwdriver from the Guide Post Hotel which had a DNA match for Berry.

Berry's DNA was also found on a chisel and a discarded "V for Vendetta" Halloween mask which were found at the Shibden Mill Inn.

During his trial Berry, previously of Grove Street South but now of no fixed abode, denied being involved in either robbery, but the jury returned unanimous gyilty verdicts after less than three hours deliberation.

Judge Colin Burn agreed to adjourn Berry's sentence hearing until October 4 so that the prosecution could obtain victim impact statements from the complainants.

Berry, who had already admitted further offences of house burglary and robbery committed around the same time, was remanded back into custody until the next hearing.