Knife robber who targeted shops locked up

AN armed robber who targeted shops in Leeds has been locked up for public protection.

Martin Kaczmarek threatened staff with weapons which ranged from knives to an axe.

On one occasion he even grabbed metal shelving and brandished it.

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Kaczmarek, 39, of Spen Green, Hawksworth, Leeds, admitted three robberies and a charge of attempted robbery, with 15 similar offences taken into consideration.

Imposing an indeterminate sentence for public protection at Leeds Crown Court yesterday, Judge Christopher Batty said reports indicated there was a high risk of repeat offending.

Kaczmarek had already served two previous jail terms for robbery, including a nine-year sentence. Between June and July last year he went on another robbery spree against small shops armed on more than one occasion with a knife.

The judge ordered him to serve a minimum of three years and four-and-a-half months, warning he would only be considered for release when no longer considered a risk.

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At an earlier hearing the court heard on June 21, Kaczmarek went into Subway in Boar Lane shouting at staff to open the till. He punched a member of staff and threw a chair, hitting the employee, but fled when an alarm was activated.

The same evening with a hood and scarf over his face he targeted Nisa in Cavendish Street. forcing an assistant to open the till and stealing 1,000.

Four days later he targeted Sainsbury's in Ash Road, Headingley, while armed with a kitchen knife, escaping with 150.

On July 9 he went to Ainsley's bakers in Bond Street and grabbed 300 after threatening staff with a craft knife.

Kaczmarek had previously claimed he committed the crimes because he could not cope outside prison and said he gave some of the money to Big Issue sellers to make himself feel better.

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