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The faces of Nottinghamshire robbers jailed this year as offences fall

These are the faces of robbers who have been jailed this year after investigations by dedicated detective teams.

• Significant Reduction in Robberies: Nottingham has seen a substantial decrease in robberies, from 709 in 2018 to 493 in 2023.

• Operation Calibre and Police Efforts: Nottinghamshire Police’s Operation Calibre, running from 20 to 26 November, aims to target robbery hotspots, track down suspects, and engage with the community to further reduce robberies.

• Highlighted Cases and Convictions: Several high-profile robbery cases have been solved leading to convictions, including repeat offender Darren Unwin receiving a 14-year sentence, and the duo Mohammed Dilshad and Hamza Khan being jailed for posing as pizza delivery men to commit robbery.

• Diverse Nature of Robberies and Responses: The article illustrates the different types of robberies and the police responses –  from a masked robbery at a casino to violent street robberies.

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Both the city and county in Nottinghamshire have teams of officers who investigate the most serious robberies involving weapons and committed against the most vulnerable victims.

The number of robberies committed in Nottingham has reduced from 709 in 2018 to 493 so far this year – and has fallen every year except one over this time period.

Robberies committed against both individuals and businesses have declined over the past five years.

This period coincides with the formation of a proactive team of detectives and other officers working specifically on robberies and burglaries.

The force is highlighting the work of these teams during Operation Calibre, which runs from 20 to 26 November, and aims to target robbery hot spots, track down wanted suspects, engage with the community and provide advice to people to prevent them becoming a victim.

Detective Inspector Julian Eminson-Ferry, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:

“We know our success in reducing the number of robberies and making streets safer places to be is thanks to the ongoing work of our proactive robbery/burglary teams, the other policing teams we work alongside and our external partners.

“The following cases have all involved thorough and often painstaking investigations by officers which have seen offenders put behind bars.

“They are quite different as robbery can take many different forms. They all, however, involved a victim or victims who we were determined to get justice for.”

Repeat robbery offender Darren Unwin was handed a 14-year extended sentence when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on 27 October.

He had been released from prison just two months before he targeted a victim as she walked along Diversity Way, Radford, at 11.40pm on 16 August 2023.

He grabbed the woman in a headlock, dragged her from the pathway and stole her handbag which contained a bank card.

Detectives were able to identify Unwin as the offender after analysing CCTV footage from nearby streets. He was captured on camera starting to follow the victim on Ilkeston Road.

After the robbery, he was then caught on CCTV entering a nearby shop where the stolen bank card was used.

Unwin, of Mapperley Road, Nottingham, had previously been jailed in 2017 after being convicted of two robberies.

Pair of robbers Mohammed Dilshad and Hamza Khan posed as pizza delivery men before they forced their way into a home and demanded cash.

The victim saw a man ringing his doorbell who had a pizza box in his hand. When he answered the door, he was pushed backwards and the robbers ransacked his house.

Dilshad, aged 27, and Khan, aged 19, subsequently pleaded guilty to robbery and they were jailed for a combined total of 12 years and five months when they appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on 16 August.

Dilshad, formerly of Mafeking Street, Sneinton, was locked up for seven years and two months and Khan, formerly of Egypt Road, New Basford, was handed a sentence of five years and three months.

Dilshad’s fingerprints were found on the pizza box and a piece of a glove found at the scene returned a DNA hit matching Khan.

Robber Joshua Whiteley, who threatened a man with a knife, stole his high-value car and torched it, was jailed for 12 years and nine months at Nottingham Crown Court when he appeared for sentencing on 29 June.

Whiteley, aged 22, was one of three men who woke the victim by banging on his door in Harworth, Bassetlaw, at 4am on 15 October 2022.

They threatened to break into the house and kill the victim if he did not hand over the keys to his Audi.

After he threw the keys from an upstairs window the robbers got into the vehicle and drove off.

Officers worked with colleagues from West Yorkshire Police to recover the burnt-out vehicle and used CCTV from a petrol station to identify Whiteley as the offender.

Whiteley, of Britannia Road, Morley, Leeds, also ended up admitting an attempted burglary in Buckingham Court, Harworth, when another victim was threatened with a knife.

Masked robber Robin Simandi-Curtis was snared by police within minutes of plundering stacks of cash from a city centre casino.

Simandi-Curtis forced a cashier at Grosvenor Casino, in Maid Marian Way, Nottingham, to fill a swag bag with cash at knifepoint– cutting her hand in the process.

Within minutes of the robbery on 8 March 2023, reports of the incident were radioed across the police airwaves by force control.

Hearing this, an officer immediately spotted a man wearing a balaclava across the city centre near The Cornerhouse and gave chase.

The masked man would turn out to be Simandi-Curtis, who didn’t get far before he was caught and detained in South Sherwood Street.

Simandi-Curtis, of Sherwin Walk, St Ann’s, was jailed for five years and four months.

Violent thug John Shooter who went on a rampage in which he robbed two people in the street was also put behind bars.

One of his victims needed surgery to save his eyesight after he was assaulted by Shooter in Mansfield town centre.

The man was walking back from a cashpoint in Leeming Street at around 11.30pm on 16 March 2022, when he was suddenly confronted by the 30-year-old.

Shooter then proceeded to punch the victim to the floor and stamp on his head, before stealing his wallet and fleeing from the scene.

At around 4.20am the next day (17 March), Shooter robbed another man just after they’d withdrawn cash in Rosemary Street, Mansfield.

He once again punched his victim in the face and stamped on him, before then rifling through his pockets and making off with cash.

Shooter was sentenced to eight years in jail and will serve a further two-and-a-half years on licence.

Mark Kavanagh, who carried out a terrifying knifepoint raid on a shop, was jailed on 1 March.

Kavanagh, aged 36, threatened staff with a blade while demanding cash from the till at the store in High Street, Stanton Hill, near Sutton-in-Ashfield.

He fled the scene after taking the cash and stealing alcohol but was tracked down by police after they carried out house-to-house inquiries and studied CCTV footage in the area.

Kavanagh was handed a custodial sentence of eight years and four months – which will include four years on licence – at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday (1 March 2023).

Shaun Cartledge was jailed on 25 January after punching a man in the face and inflicted a knife wound on him during a street.

Cartledge grabbed the victim by the neck and took out a knife from his waistband during the incident which happened in Noel Street, Radford.

The 31-year-old then punched the man to the face, forcibly rifled through his pockets and took his tobacco and tobacco filters.

The victim suffered a cut to his arm as she tried to protect himself.

He was jailed for five-and-a-half years at Nottingham Crown Court.

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