Harveys of Halifax raids 'an absolute violation' as drug addict burglars are jailed

Tracy Harvey at Harverys, Halifax.
Tracy Harvey at Harverys, Halifax.

The managing director at Harveys of Halifax has described the raids at the shop as 'an absolute violation' after two drug addict burglars were jailed.

Earlier this month the managing director of Harveys of Halifax appealed for help from the public after a series of raids had cost them about £70,000 in stolen property.

Tracy Harvey's appeal came as CCTV footage was released of masked raiders ransacking the fragrance department and stealing high-end perfumes and aftershave during the most recent attack on the store three weeks ago.

Now two men have been jailed for two years after they smashed their way into a family-run department store.

Bradford Crown Court heard in a victim impact statement provided to the judge Tracy Harvey MD described how they had tried to make an honest living and support 100 employees, but such attacks were "an absolute violation".

"It completely destroys our confidence and makes us wonder whether it is worth carrying on," she said.

Mark McPhee, 46, and 50-year-old Paul Woolley, both from Halifax, have now been jailed for an earlier night-time burglary at the store on June 19.

The court heard that McPhee used a crowbar to break a large plate glass window before climbing through the hole and grabbing items of clothing from the menswear department.

Prosecutor Paul Nicholson said McPhee handed the stolen property to Woolley whose car was parked outside with its registration plate covered up.

During the raid the pair stole clothing worth just over £5300, but the court heard that McPhee, who had previous convictions for offences including burglary, left his blood at the scene.

When police went to Woolley's home after the break-in they recovered nearly £1500 worth of clothing, but Mr Nicholson said some of the items were blood-stained and could not be resold.

The judge heard that the damage to the display window cost £600 and the menswear department was shut for half a day.

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On the same night McPhee, who was already subject to a community order, and Woolley also tried to break into a Tesco store on Market Street, Halifax, but fled empty-handed.

McPhee, of Dyson Road, Halifax, and Woolley, of Crossley Gardens, Halifax, both admitted charges of burglary and attempted burglary.

They were each sentenced to two years in jail for the Harveys offence by Judge Jonathan Rose and McPhee was given an extra one month in jail after his community order was revoked.

The judge heard that Woolley had been out of trouble for 15 years and both defendants had expressed shame and remorse for the offences

Judge Rose said the pair represented the significant link between drug abuse and criminality, but his overriding concern was that people like them thought that commercial burglary offences were much less serious than house burglary.

The judge highlighted the inconvenience and loss caused to businesses, particularly independent ones like Harveys, and he said neither defendant had given that a thought when they carried out a "concerted and determined" attack on the store in June.

He said both men had poor criminal records and they had gone equipped for burglary that night.