A DUDLEY man is one of a gang jailed for more than 30 years between them for raids on Midlands convenience stores.

Craig Osmund-Smith, aged 41, of Valley Road got six years and nine months behind bars after he admitted conspiracy to commit robbery at Stafford Crown Court.

Osmund-Smith faced charges in connection with eight robberies where cash and cigarettes were taken from stores including Sainsbury’s Local on Louise Street, Gornal.

The men were arrested while attempting to rob another Sainsbury’s Local in Wordsley Green.

Speaking at the conclusion of the case, detective superintendent Paul Clews, from Staffordshire Police, said: “Today’s sentence is a culmination of some excellent partnership work across the West Midlands region.

“Criminals such as these are not always in the forefront of the public gaze, but the crimes they commit cause significant harm and fear so it is always satisfying for the teams to play their part in making the region a safer place to live.

“Most importantly, I hope the result brings some form of relief to the numerous victims of these shocking and terrifying crimes that the offenders have been brought to justice.”

The trial was told three or four gang members took part in each robbery and they targeted shops in the early hours when there were fewer staff on duty.

The robbers threatened staff, sometimes with axes or metal bars, and shop workers were tied up and shut in small rooms before premises were ransacked.

The gang’s known total haul included approximately £100,000 worth of cigarettes, cash, scratch/lottery cards and a BMW car.

A Staffordshire Police spokesperson added: “In some cases the offenders did use violence with staff members being assaulted. Although the victims did not sustain serious injuries they were left distressed and traumatised by the experience, so much so that they no longer work or have altered their working hours.”