Bedford man behind bars for knife-point robbery and assaulting police officers

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Andrew McCleary

A Bedford man will be behind bars for four-and-a-half years after being sentenced for a string of crimes including two robberies and assaults against a number of people including several police officers.

37-year-old Andrew McCleary, of Cavendish Street, was sentenced initially for two robberies:

  • 23 December, at around 1am: Grabbing a man from behind in Boswell Place and putting him in a headlock so tight it caused his victim to pass out. He then stole his debit card, ID card and mobile phone, leaving his victim unconscious on the floor.
  • 27 December, at around 3.45am: McCleary was part of a group that approached another man in Boswell Place. McCleary shouted to the man: “give me everything you got or I’ll stab you, bruv.” He then put him in a headlock and despite the victim breaking free, had his mobile phone, around £70 in cash and his house keys stolen.

McCleary pleaded guilty to both these offences at Luton Crown Court today and received four-and-a-half years behind bars, to run concurrently. But McCleary was also punished for further incidents:

  • 20 October: An incident at a Bedford hotel where he head-butted and bit another guest and broke into his room during a disagreement. For this crime he was sentenced to a year in prison for actual bodily harm and two months for criminal damage.
  • February 2018: He crashed a vehicle into a residential property in Elstow and failed to provide a specimen to check for driving under the influence and became aggressive and assaulted police officers. For this he was sentenced to two months for failing to provide a specimen and one month for each assault on a police officer.

All these sentences will be served concurrently with the punishment for the robberies.

Detective Constable Aroop Nandre, who investigated the crimes, said: “These attacks were targeted at specific victims that McCleary did not know and will have caused them significant distress.

“The fact McCleary was so quick to use violence in both cases is a huge cause for concern and it is right he has been handed such a significant sentence.”