Two prolific offenders who were involved in terrifying robberies at jewellery shops in Halifax and Brighouse have been given prison sentences totalling more than 14 years.
A court heard this morning (Thursday) how two female staff at Kingston Jewellers in Halifax had a “handgun” pointed at them during a lunchtime robbery at the shop last June and two days later a black Jaguar car was driven into the front window of Neimantas Jewellers in Brighouse.
William Cochrane, 39, was today jailed for a total of nine-and-a-half years after Bradford Crown Court heard how he had gone into the Halifax premises with gunman Scott Lister and grabbed thousands of pounds worth of jewellery before they fled in a car.
Two days later Cochrane was behind the wheel of the Jaguar during the tea-time attack in Brighouse.
After he reversed the car into the front window of the shop his 37-year-old brother Richard and Lister jumped out of the vehicle and snatched valuable watches from the display.
Richard Cochrane, who admitted involvement in the Neimantas robbery, was jailed for a total of five years.
The court heard that at the time of the robberies the Cochrane brothers were already on bail for a burglary at the Lidl store in Sowerby Bridge.
They each received six-month prison sentences as part of their total jail terms for the burglary.
Last month Lister, 30, was jailed for six years and nine months after he admitted offences of robbery and possesison of an imitation firerarm.
William Cochrane was found guilty of the same offences following a trial, but his barrister told the court today that he still maintained his innocence.
All three men were arrested at a block of flats in West Parade, Halifax, following the two robberies and a judge heard today that the Cochrane brothers had amassed nearly 85 previous convictions for more than 200 offences over the last 25 years.
Barrister Emma Downing, for both men, said neither had any previous convictions for robbery matters and Richard Cochrane had expressed his remorse for the offence he had committed at Neimantas jewellers.
Jailing the pair today Judge Colin Burn said they both knew that the robbery matters were extremely serious.
He said he accepted that William Cochrane was not carrying the imitation firearm during the first robbery, but it had been “an utterly terrifying minute” for the two women working at the Halifax shop.
Judge Burn said the ram-raid style attack in Brighouse had involved the use of “overwhelming and intimidating force”.
“The owner of the shop was just coming through the shop from the back when he saw the front of his shop destroyed by this Jaguar car,” the judge told the men.
Speaking after the sentencing Detective Inspector Gary Stephenson of Calderdale CID said; “Following offences in Halifax , Brighouse and Hebden Bridge where they used weapons including a what was believed to be a firearm to threaten victims to facilitate the theft of high-value jewellery and watches, two further men were sentenced today. They caused panic and terrified the staff at shops across the district.
“I hope that today’s sentences not only demonstrates to the public our continued commitment to tackling criminality across Calderdale, but also as a stark warning to those who target our communities. You are not welcome on our streets and we will do everything within our power to arrest those responsible and bring them to justice.
“I would also once again like to commend the selflessness shown by the public-spirited people of Brighouse as they made efforts to apprehend the suspects even though they were believed to have been in possession of weapons. Their bravery and courageous actions prevented further loss and assisted in the gathering of vital evidence.
“Brothers William and Richard Cochrane and Scott Lister now have time in prison to consider the consequences of their actions.”
To check out more video footage of the Brighouse raid click here