Police praised after jewel raider jailed

Robert Silverwood
Robert Silverwood
Share this article

A businessman has hailed the actions of police after a man was jailed for his part in a shocking armed robbery at a Fylde coast jewellers.

Darren Peter Smith, 41, of Irlam Square, Salford, was sentenced to three years in prison after a robbery at Leonard Dews in Clifton Street, Lytham, in September 2011.

Vice-chairman of the Lytham Business Group, Robert Silverwood, said the conviction sent a clear message to those looking to target the town.

He added: “I think the police have done an amazing job. There will be people out there who always look to target our town, but it sends a message out to them – you will get caught.

“It was a shocking incident and I’m glad it brings some closure to what happened.”

Smith was sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday, having previously pleaded guilty to one charge of robbery during a trial at the same court last November.

On September 22, 2011, Smith entered the shop pretending to be a customer and allowed the entry of three masked, armed men, who then smashed the shop’s display cases and stole a number of high-value items.

The raid was the third on the store in four years.

The Leonard Dews store closed in 2012 before being rebranded and has since been replaced by a homeware boutique called Hidden Gem.

Det Insp Nick Connaughton of Blackpool CID said: “This was a nasty robbery, and was one of a number that was committed against Leonard Dews jewellers in a short space of time.

“These robberies affected the owner so badly that he chose to close the shop, and so, we welcome the court’s decision to jail Smith.”