Prison for armed thief

Craig Calderwood
Craig Calderwood
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AN armed robber from Worksop who threatened to kill terrified staff in the record-breaking £40m Graff diamonds heist has been jailed for 21 years.

Craig Calderwood and accomplice Aman Kassaye, 25, wore make-up disguises to pass security and pose as genuine customers at the exclusive Mayfair store.

They produced handguns and forced staff to the floor, including manager Martin Leggatt who was made to lie spread-eagled at Calderwood’s feet.

Kassaye then ordered shop assistant Petra Ehnar to help empty rings, necklaces, watches and earrings from display cases.

In just two minutes on 6th August 2009, they took 43 pieces of jewellery, including a £3.5m multi-coloured diamond necklace, worth a total of £40m - Britain’s biggest ever gems heist.

Miss Ehnar was taken hostage at gunpoint as the robbers escaped to a waiting BMW getaway car in New Bond Street.

In chaotic scenes caught on camera by a member of the public, filming on his mobile phone, Kassaye shot at a Graff security guard who tried to intervene.

Calderwood, the son of a pub landlady originally from Worksop, was unanimously convicted of conspiracy to rob and possession of a firearm after a retrial at Woolwich Crown Court.

He admitted taking part, but claimed he was forced to do it because of threats to kill him and his mother by two Eastern European underworld figures.

A jury had failed to reach verdicts in his case in July last year.

Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC said the 28-year-old was ‘at the heart of the conspiracy’ and his death threats had caused staff ‘terror and life-long trauma’.

Calderwood was jailed for 16 years for the conspiracy and a further five years for using the handgun.

In a statement read to the court Miss Ehnar said the image of the two robbers would will be etched in her mind forever but she would not let them ‘ruin’ her life.

l Do you know Craig Calderwood? What kind of person was he? Let us know by calling 01909 500500.