Nathan Clarke
Nathan Clarke

A “dangerous” gangster who masterminded a £250,000 jewellery heist had his 11-year jail term backed by senior judges today.

Nathan Clarke, 29, of Birmingham, was the brains behind the January 2016 armed raid on Andrew Michaels jewellers in Newark.

Staff and customers were terrorised when the masked gang stormed into the shop, with one raider bearing a pump-action shotgun.

The raiders used sledgehammers to smash open display cases, before escaping with the hoard of jewels and watches worth £250,000.

Two off-duty cops tried to wade in and tackle the robbers, but had to back off when the gun was brandished at them.

Clarke, of Colville Road, was jailed at Nottingham Crown Court last April for conspiracy to rob.

He also converted criminal property by trying to “fence” watches stolen in the raid.

And Clarke encouraged a scalding water attack on an inmate behind bars, which caused permanent scarring.

Branded a dangerous offender, Clarke was ordered to serve an extra four years on licence following his release.

He had previous convictions for conspiracy to rob and possessing an imitation gun.

Clarke today insisted he was not dangerous and that his prison sentence was far too long.

Instrumental

Judge Richard Marks QC said Clarke was not present during the raid, but was instrumental in planning it.

But the robbery was “very well planned and highly professional” and "those inside the shop must have been absolutely terrified.”

“Clarke took a leading organisational role in this extremely serious offence,” said Judge Marks, who was sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mr Justice Nicol.

“Against this background, the judge was entirely justified in finding that he was a dangerous offender.”

The appeal was dismissed.

Clarke and nine others were jailed for the robbery in April last year for a total of 80 years.