Robbery trio attacked children while their parents were away at wedding

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Three Leeds men who were part of a robbery gang which carried out a terrifying raid on a family home in Batley have been given jail sentences totalling more than 16 years.

The trio were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court yesterday after tricking their way into the property while the parents of the five children were attending a wedding.

During the raid last year one of the three stood guard over the children while other members of the gang ransacked the house looking for money and jewellery.Prosecutor Simon Haring described how one of the robbers barged his way in after knocking on the door and saying he had a parcel to deliver.

During the robbery a teenage boy was punched in the face and the eldest child, a teenage girl, was pushed down onto the floor as she was interrogated.

Mr Haring said one of the masked men was wearing a balaclava with a skull and crossbones motif on it and all of them were wearing gloves

The men fled with a holdall containing property worth an estimated £15,000 and they told the children to wait for two minutes before coming out.

One of the gang managed to escape, but the van driver Ashleigh Jeffers, 26, of Hollin Park Crescent, Oakwood, Leeds, and Ricardo Welsh, 24, of Markham Avenue, Leeds, were both arrested.

The court heard 25-year-old Thorin Phillips, of Norman Towers, West Park, Leeds, also tried to run off, but he was detained soon after.