A pair of serial offenders have been jailed for nearly 16 years after an armed robbery changed a man’s face for life.
Simon Branwell, 46, and Blake Sonny Johnson, 28, were two of three men who viciously assaulted and robbed Roy John, Leeds Crown Court heard today (Thursday).
Mr John had been driving through Huddersfield on September 7, 2016 when a woman he knew only as ‘Lucy’ asked him for a lift.
He drove her to 18 Moorside End in Dewsbury. They went inside together and he sat down on the sofa.
Almost immediately three men with their faces covered in bandanas and armed with two knives entered the living room.
The house was Branwell’s home and a tracker device attached to Johnson, who was on police bail at the time and had been drinking, later showed that he had been there for a few hours.
The men kicked and punched Mr John, refusing to let him get up, and threatened him with the knives while the woman screamed for them to stop.
They stole his wallet, watch, mobile phone and Volkswagen Passat car before driving off in the car.
Mr John, a doorman who was aged 51 at the time of the attack, had his hearing aid and glasses knocked off during the attack which lasted almost 20 minutes.
He ran to a nearby takeaway covered in blood and crying. The incident was reported to police at around 8.15pm.
Mr John needed more than 20 hospital appointments for his severe injuries, including having screws inserted in his jaw and surgery to fix his badly damaged nose which was unsuccessful. He was also left with a dentist bill in excess of £1,300. The left side of his face is still numb and his eyesight has been affected.
Branwell, of Moorside End in Dewsbury, has 30 previous convictions for 50 offences including burglary, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray.
He had pleaded not guilty to one count of robbery and went on trial in July, but the jury had failed to reach a verdict.
Yesterday (Wednesday), he changed his plea to guilty. The court heard that additional forensic evidence had been found since his trial.
He was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail.
Johnson, of Church Street, Heckmondwike, appeared in the dock handcuffed. He has 20 previous convictions for 42 offences including robbery, possession of a knife, section 20 wounding, escape from lawful custody and multiple counts of affray.
He had pleaded guilty to one count of robbery at the plea and trial preparation hearing in February.
Deemed a high risk to the public by Judge Simon Phillips QC, he was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment, following which he will be on licence for five years.
The court heard that Johnson’s mother suffers from Alzheimer’s and will likely die when he’s in prison.