Weston man jailed for part played in knifepoint robbery
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 April 2019
A ‘sophisticated’ cannabis operation worth £90,000 was raided by a gang of robbers, with a Weston-super-Mare man believed to have ‘organised the attack’.
A man was left with ‘life-threatening’ injuries and a punctured lung after being stabbed five times while trying to defend his wife and home.
Ryan Bartley, aged 35 from Weston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal from the property in Redmarley, in the Forest of Dean, on September 24.
He was one of five robbers – who appeared at Gloucester Crown Court on Tuesday – who targeted the farm, which housed 150 cannabis plants.
Prosecutor Charles Taylor said the men travelled from Weston to steal the plants, which were being grown in outbuildings at the country home.
He said: “The conspiracy was to target a high-value, sophisticated cannabis grow.”
He said the raid was ‘conceived well in advance’, with reconnaissance by Bartley, who downloaded an aerial photo of the property.
Investigating officers from Gloucester Constabulary believe Bartley, of Yarrow Court, facilitated and organised the attack.
The criminals arrived at the farm before midnight.
Mr Taylor told the court four assailants – Jade Cunningham, 27 of no fixed address; Taschan Peart, aged 22 of Malvern Road in Tottenham; Dillon Kow, aged 27 of Siston Park in Bristol; and an unidentified man – were seen on CCTV entering the grounds while Bartley and Dean Purnell, aged 33 of Kerry Road in Bristol, waited outside.
David Spurr came out to confront the defendants.
Mr Taylor told the court Cunningham rushed towards the homeowner but was knocked to the ground.
He added: “Peart appeared to assist and strike Mr Spurr. That allowed Cunningham to get back to his feet. He can be seen with a knife in his hand.
“Kow then aims a blow at Mr Spurr, a full-blooded right hook, which sent him to the ground. There was repeated stabbing and kicking.”
The attack drew to a close when Peart dragged Mr Spurr’s wife outside and threatened to hurt her.
The defendants made off with 114 of the 150 plants – having an estimated value of £90,000.
Nick Clough, mitigating for Bartley, said: “He was not the instigator or the prime mover. “He was not there at the inception of the conspiracy.
“He knew nothing of the violence which had occurred.”
When sentencing, Judge Michael Cullum said: “You were all involved in a conspiracy to steal cannabis plants.
“Mr Spurr had come out of his home to protect his property.
“He was left in a life-threatening condition and needed emergency treatment.
“Their home was invaded. “That had nothing to do with the removal of cannabis plants.”
Bartley was ordered to serve a two-year, eight-month custodial sentence, while his accomplices were handed longer sentences.
Purnell received three years, two months, while both Peart and Kow got nine years, seven months each.
Cunningham received the longest sentence of 11 years and three months.