Two men and a woman from Sheffield have been sentenced to a combined total of 25 years behind bars for a robbery and false imprisonment at a student house.
Martin Gaffoor, 36, from Shiregreen, was sentenced to 11 years in prison, Lee Whormsley, 37, from Shiregreen, was sentenced to nine years in prison, and Toni Slinn, 30, also from Shiregreen, was sentenced to five years in prison, for their respective roles in the robbery last year.
On the morning of Saturday, 24 November 2012, two 20-year-old students were asleep in their rooms in their house on South Road, Walkley. Shortly before 8am, one of the students was woken by two men, Gaffoor and Whormsley, entering his room. Their faces were covered, and Gaffoor had a gun. They asked questions about the student’s other housemates, and whether he had a car. The men took his debit card and demanded his PIN. Gaffoor instructed Whormsley to tie up the student using electrical cable.
All three made their way upstairs to the second student’s bedroom. Gaffoor pointed the gun at the student and directed Whormsley to search the bedroom for his debit card. Again, they demanded the PIN. Whormsley was then instructed to tie up the second student, which he did using shoelaces.
Both students were taken downstairs and told to lie on the first student’s bed together. Gaffoor told Whormsley to find a bag and begin collecting items. During this time, Gaffoor received a call on his mobile, at which point he handed Whormsley the gun and left the room. Whormsley also produced a knuckle duster-style stun gun. Gaffoor could be heard mumbling through the letterbox of the house, before returning to the bedroom.
The students were then tied together by their feet. Gaffoor received another phone call, after which he put the gun to the head of the first student shouting that the PIN was incorrect. He provided a different PIN, and Gaffoor ended the call.
Both students had socks stuffed into their mouths and were sprayed with a fire extinguisher, in a bid to remove forensic evidence. Gaffoor and Whormsley left the house, leaving the students tied together.
After freeing themselves, the students called police and discovered a number of items had been stolen from the house, as well as money withdrawn from their bank accounts. They found that the lock on the back door had been damaged.
Police investigation identified Gaffoor and Whormsley, and then further identified Slinn, who used the bank cards to withdraw money while the students were tied up in their house.
All three pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, and were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, 21 May. Gaffoor and Whormsley also pleaded guilty to two counts of false imprisonment, and two counts of possessing a firearm.
Detective Constable Chris Lewis, who led the investigation, said: “I am extremely satisfied with the sentences imposed, and feel that they reflect the seriousness of the offences. The victims suffered an extremely traumatic experience at the hands of Gaffoor and Whormsley, while Slinn waited and took possession of stolen property. Hopefully this outcome will go some way with helping them recover from this ordeal.”