Violent Brighouse hair salon robbers who left a pensioner with a broken hip have jail sentences increased

Two violent robbers have each received an increased jail sentence after the Solicitor General Alex Chalk QC MP referred their cases to the Court of Appeal.

By Ian Hirst
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 3:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 3:17 pm

A judge at Bradford Crown Court heard in February 2022 how the owner of the salon, who had run the business for three decades, was also injured during the mid-morning raid in December 2018 and she had subsequently shut the premises to work as a mobile hairdresser.

The Court heard that the owner and two of her elderly clients had been in the Fresh Hair Salon on Bonegate Road when Royston Thomas and Aaron Bonner barged in.

One of the men grabbed the owner by the jumper and pulled her around as the pair demanded money.

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Royston Thomas and Aaron Bonner have see their prison sentences increased

When the 87-year-old customer tried to get to the door to get help she was flung onto the floor fracturing her hip.

During the robbery the intruders stole about £100 in coins and notes as well as the elderly victim’s handbag, but after fleeing the scene in a car they were spotted by police in Huddersfield and arrested after the vehicle crashed.

The court heard that when officers arrived at the salon the owner was in great distress and the elderly woman was still on the floor “subdued and moaning in pain”.

The salon owner suffered bruising to her face and arms and in her victim personal statement she said that she had run the salon for 30 years but after the robbery she was too afraid to be there on her own.

She said she closed it and now ran a mobile hairdressing business.

The son of the injured customer said she was independent and confident before she was robbed and her favourite time of the week was going to the hairdresser.

He said was in hospital for a long time afterwards and then needed care at home.

The court heard she had suffered repeated falls and her life had never been the same since.

Bonner, of Celandine Avenue, Huddersfield, and Thomas, of Gilbert Grove, Crosland Moor, Huddersfield, pleaded guilty to the robbing the salon and the elderly customer.

Bonner was also convicted of possession of a bladed article, while Thomas was convicted of possession of a Class A drug. Bonner was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, while Thomas was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.

Following the sentencing, the Solicitor General referred the sentences of both Thomas and Bonner to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.

On May 4 the Court found the original sentences to be unduly lenient. Bonner’s sentence was increased to six years’ imprisonment, while Thomas saw his sentence increased to eight years’ imprisonment with a three-year extended licence.

Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General Alex Chalk QC MP said: “This particularly violent robbery was a terrifying incident for the hair salon owner and customers.”

“I believed that the behaviour of Royston Thomas and Aaron Bonner warranted a stronger sentence, and I am glad that the Court agreed.”