Machete and gun gang jailed

Shotguns, stolen from a house in Over Alderley were recovered by police

A gang member who threatened a man with a gun and machete, in Macclesfield, has been sentenced to life imprisonment and his two accomplices for 22 years . 

Joseph Grima, of Water Street in Macclesfield, will serve a minimum of 10 years for robbery, possessing an imitation firearm and witness intimidation. Grima pleaded guilty to additional offences of escaping custody and possessing mobile phones in prison. 

Joseph Grima

Lee Spindler, 26, of no fixed address was sentenced to nine years and eight months after pleading guilty to possessing an imitation firearm and robbery.

Lee Spindler

Jamie Sheffield, 33, of Eldon Place in Eccles was sentenced to 12 years and nine months after pleading guilty to possessing an imitation firearm and robbery. 

Jamie Sheffield

The court heard that on the evening of 10th January, 2018, the 25-year old victim was asleep in bed when he heard Spindler, Sheffield and Grima coming up the stairs of his house in Over Alderley. 

When he opened his eyes he saw one of them holding a large black machete directly onto his cheek and another man holding a gun to his head. The men then shouted “where are the guns?”.

The robbers tied up the victim before searching the house – taking with them two shotguns and two rifles, a cannabis plant, collector’s coins and a mobile phone. 

After the men left the scene, in two vehicles, the victim called police who identified one of the getaway vehicles as a Nissan Qashqai  which was spotted and followed by police before stopping it in Salford. 

Armed officers arrested Spindler. Sheffield fled the scene and was later arrested nearby. Police officers found the shotguns and later identified Grima’s DNA on all of the stolen weapons.  Grima was later arrested and his mobile phone seized.

The court heard how his phone provided evidence that proved he was involved in the robbery.

Detective Sergeant Simon Mills, of Macclesfield CID, said: “These men broke into the victim’s house in the middle of the night with the intention of terrifying him. They held weapons to his face and subjected him to threats which left him with no choice but to give into their demands. Throughout the incident the victim was left in fear of what the gang would do to him to the point he feared if he would survive. 

“This was a pre-planned robbery using weapons – namely a handgun, machetes and knives and it was intended to instil the utmost fear in the victim or anybody who got in their way. Grima has shown no regard for the court process, victims or justice throughout the investigation. He intentionally tried to prevent his trial going ahead by threatening prosecution witnesses and has today seen justice served where he will pay the price for his own actions. 

“Grima is a dangerous individual who as we heard in the trial has previous convictions for like offences – it is clear he had not learnt from his previous offending and he fully deserves his lengthy time in prison. The sentences handed out today send out a clear message that with this level of criminality come costly and impactive sentences to all of those involved.” 

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