A DANGEROUS criminal who carried out a spate of armed robberies while on licence has been jailed indefinitely.
Dell Miller claimed to have provided stolen cars and acted as a getaway driver for the armed gang, who targeted two Brighouse pubs and a shop, but police believed he was the mastermind behind them.
The 36-year-old was on licence for a previous offence of wounding with intent and his part in a conspiracy to rob Securicor staff, when he got involved in a series of raids.
Miller was involved in a gang of masked robbers who wielded crowbars, an axe and an imitation handgun during attacks onNeimantas jewellers in Commercial Street, Brighouse, the Black Horse Inn, Clifton, and the Armytage Arms also in Clifton earlier this year.
During the Neimantas raid the gang grabbed jewellery worth about £190,000.
He will have to serve a minimum of five years and 44 days before being considered for release by the Parole Board after Judge Jonathan Durham Hall, QC, imposed a sentence of imprisonment for public protection.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that Miller was jailed for 10-and-a-half years back in 2001 but had been released on licence.
Prosecutor Richard Gioserano told the court how three masked raiders, armed with crowbars, burst into the premises of Neimantas on Thursday April 9.
He said a woman standing outside the premises was dragged in by the gang to stop her raising the alarm and a sales assistant locked herself in the toilet.
During the raid the gang grabbed jewellery worth about £190,000.
A month later Andrew Russell, landlord of the Black Horse Inn, was attacked by two masked men as he was locking up for the night.
Mr Russell was repeatedly struck with some kind of weapon.
The men escaped with just £441.70 leaving Mr Russell with two broken ribs and his wife and son shaken.
In October last year a robber carrying an axe and an handgun confronted a woman as she sat in a car with the takings from the Armytage Arms.
While her partner was locking up, a robber – who was wearing a ski mask – ran over to the car, smashed the window with an axe and pointed the handgun at her.
The terrified victim handed over the takings of about £5,500.
Miller was arrested from his then home in Churn Drive, Buttershaw, Bradford, in November after his DNA was found on the airbag of one of the getaway vehicles and officers recovered various items including balaclavas, crowbars and a police radio scanner at his home.
In the glove compartment of a BMW X5 they also found and replica 8mm automatic handgun.
Miller admitted three charges of robbery, possessing a firearm with intent to rob and handling a stolen car.
Judge Durham Hall noted that victim personal statements provided to the court made it clear that all of the victims had suffered serious psychological and emotional harm as a result of the offences.
The court heard that Miller was on licence from the 10-and-a-half year jail term when he got involved in the latest raids.
Judge Durham Hall said every aggravating feature had to be ticked regarding the offences and Miller’s chances of release after the minimum term were remote.
Although Miller’s barrister, Alun Jones, submitted his client was not the mastermind behind the raids, the judge said the defendant had played an essential role in a carefully-planned and ruthlessly executed campaign of robberies.
The sentence was welcomed by senior police officers.
Det Insp Gary Stephenson from Halifax CID said: “The offences that have been investigated were carefully planned by Dell Miller.
“Vehicles were stolen and identities were changed using stolen registration plates and the robberies that followed were carried out with the use of extreme violence by Miller.
“Today’s verdict reflects a thorough and professional investigation supported by scientific evidence and the public can now rest assured that individuals who use violence or firearms to commit crime, will be placed before the courts and brought to justice.”