Violent Armed Robbers Jailed

The "out of control" organised criminal network was based in Wandsworth

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A gang of armed robbers who terrorised local businesses,
cash in transit companies and the community in general
across south west London have been jailed at Kingston
Crown Court.

Weapons including handguns, knives and hammers
were used during the crimes and thousands of pounds
of cash was stolen over six months by the offenders. Ten men had previously admitted or been found guilty
of a string of robbery offences; three of those men also
admitted possession of a firearm or imitation firearm. They are:

Ringleader Sean Maher, 20, pleaded guilty to 19 robbery offences and three offences of possession of a firearm or imitation firearm. Jailed for 12 years. Tyrone Attwood, 21, pleaded guilty to 11 robbery offences and three offences of possession of a firearm or imitation firearm. Jailed for 10 years.

Kieran Woods, 19, pleaded guilty to 12robbery offences. Jailed for eight years. Curtis Brown, 19 (7/8/92), of Woodcroft Road, Thornton Heath - was found guilty of two robbery offences and one possession of a firearm or imitation firearm. Jailed for eight years.

Freddie Beasley, 19, pleaded guilty to two robbery offences. Jailed for five and a half years. Aaron Torre, 19, pleaded guilty to one robbery offence. Jailed for four years. James Gurney, 20,pleaded guilty to one robbery offence. Jailed for four years.

Rory Simmonds pleaded guilty to one robbery offence. Jailed for four and a half years. Scott Leaver, 17, pleaded guilty to one robbery offence. Sentenced to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order.

Detective Constable Iain Law, from the Flying Squad based in Barnes, said: "I am pleased with the sentences handed out.

"The removal of these men from the streets has resulted in a reduction in commercial robberies in south-west London. I also hope that their sentencing will reassure those who live and work in these areas that these men have been brought to justice.

"For more than six months these men ruthlessly and recklessly carried out a string of robberies, sometimes targeting the same premises repeatedly, and they created an atmosphere of fear whilst making a lucrative career out of their wrongdoing.

"In conjunction with our uniformed and detective colleagues from Wandsworth borough, the Flying Squad has worked hard to ensure that these armed criminals have been brought to account. This brings an end to a complex and highly successful investigation."

Operation Hemah was a Flying Squad investigation working closely with the robbery squad at Wandsworth Police Station, in response to a linked series of armed and unarmed robberies that began in September 2010. Detectives investigated 54 offences of commercial and cash-in-transit robberies committed over a six-month period between September 2010 and February 2011. Supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations were all targeted on the boroughs of Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea.

On each occasion the suspects concealed their faces to commit their crimes and threatened their victims with a variety of weapons including firearms, knives and hammers. During two separate offences firearms were discharged at the victims and in another robbery a shop worker was stabbed in the arm. The offences were being committed by an organised criminal network, based in Wandsworth, that was completely out of control. The individuals involved were stealing high-powered motorcycles in order to commit these offences as they knew they would be able to get away from police if necessary. They were also not afraid to use violence if people stood in their way.

The investigation leading to their arrests was protracted, requiring expertise, diligence and determination to prevent the spread of criminality to younger and more vulnerable members of the community. When they were apprehended in February 2011 the overwhelming evidence that the investigation had uncovered led to a majority of the gang pleading guilty at the first opportunity.

They were sentenced on Friday, 2 March.

The offences:

Count 1 - conspiracy to rob HSBC, 593-599 Fulham Road, London, SW6 5UA - 24 September 2010 during which a G4S custodian was threatened at gunpoint and forced to hand over a cash box. About £25, 000 was stolen. Maher pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 23/09/2010 - 25/09/2010 = Possession of a firearm or imitation firearm

Count 2 - conspiracy to rob Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation 369, Fulham Road,London, SW10 9NH - 28 September 2010 during which a security officer believed he heard gunshots. Maher pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 27/09/10 - 29/09/2010 Attwood pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 27/09/10 - 29/09/2010 = Possession of a firearm or imitation firearm

Count 3 - conspiracy to rob Somerfield Stores, Service Station 474-488 Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 - 1 October 2010 during which a security guard was threatened with a hammer and forced to hand over a cash box containing about £43,000. Maher and Attwood both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 31/09/10 - 02/10/2010

Count 4 - conspiracy to rob Jeffrey News 246 Battersea Bridge Road SW11 - 17 October 2010 during which a sledgehammer was used to try and gain access to a cash machine. Unsuccessful. Attwood pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 16/10/10 - 18/10/2010

Count 5 - conspiracy to rob Krishna News, Peterborough Road, London SW6 - 17 October 2010 during which staff were threatened with violence by 4 suspects. The store owner refused to hand over any money and the suspects made off empty handed. Attwood pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 16/10/10 - 18/10/2010

Count 6 - conspiracy to rob Nilkanrai Newsagents,Wandsworth Bridge Road, London SW6 - 17 October 2010 during which 4 suspects armed with a sledgehammer attacked a cash machine but were unsuccessful and made off empty handed. Attwood pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 16/10/10 - 18/10/2010

Count 7 - conspiracy to rob East Hill Mini market 63 East Hill SW18 - 17 October 2010 during which 2 suspects threatened staff at knifepoint. Staff pressed a panic alarm and the suspect made off empty handed. Attwood pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 16/10/10 - 18/10/2010

Count 8 - conspiracy to rob NR, Peter Jones Entrance, Cadogan Gardens, London, SW3 - 29 October 2010. Maher pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 28/10/10 - 30/10/2010

Count 9 - conspiracy to rob Spar Stores, 35-37 Parkgate Road, SW1 - 31 October 2010 during which 4 suspects threatened staff by intimating they had a gun. Maher, Woods and Torre have all pleaded guilty to the following = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 30/10/10 - 01/11/2010

Count 10 - conspiracy to rob Spar Store 35-37 Parkgate Road SW11 - 3 November 2010 during which 2 suspects threatened staff at knifepoint and stole £500 cash and other items. Maher and Attwood both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 02/11/2010 - 04/11/2010

Count 11 - conspiracy to rob Spar Store 35-37 Parkgate Road SW11 - 7 November 2010 during this third robbery at these premises 2 suspects threatened staff at knifepoint and stole cash. Maher and Woods both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 06/11/2010 - 08/11/2010

Count 12 - conspiracy to rob Chelsea & Westminster Hospital 369 Fulham Road, London, SW10 - 16 November 2010 during which a guard was threatened at knifepoint and a cash box containing £18,000 was stolen. Maher and Beasley both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 15/11/2010 - 17/11/2010

Count 13 - conspiracy to rob TF Foods 202 Trinity Road London SW17 - 17 November 2010 during which 2 suspects threatened staff at knifepoint and stole cash. Woods pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 16/11/2010 - 18/11/2010

Count 14 - conspiracy to rob Spar Stores, 54 Battersea Park Road, SW11 - 18 November 2010 during which 2 suspects threatened a female member of staff at knifepoint and stole cash. Maher and Woods both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 17/11/2010 - 19/11/2010

Count 15 - conspiracy to rob Nisa Local 12, Bellevue Road, London, SW17 - 20 November 2010 during which staff were threatened at knifepoint and cash stolen. Maher pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 19/11/2010 - 21/11/2010

Count 16 - conspiracy to rob Spar Store 35 Parkgate Road - 21 November 2010 during which 2 suspects threatened staff and security with a knife and stole cash and other items. Maher and Woods both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 20/11/2010 - 22/11/2010

Count 17 - conspiracy to rob The Papershop 47 Chelsea Manor Street - 23 November 2010 during which two suspects wearing face covering ran into the shop armed with a yellow and black handled hammer and attacked a member of staff, hitting him several times with the hammer on his body and arms before pulling the cash till away from the till area before and making off. Maher and Simmonds both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 22/11/2010 - 24/11/2010

Count 18 - Nisa Local 12, Bellevue Road, London, SW17 - 23 November 2010 during which 2 suspects threatened staff at gunpoint and stole cash. Maher pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 22/11/10 - 24/11/2010 = Possession of a firearm or imitation firearm = Attwood pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 22/11/10 - 24/11/2010 = Possession of a firearm or imitation firearm

Count 19 - Londis 41 Queenstown Road, London, SW8 3RE - 23 November 2010 during which 2 suspects threatened staff at gunpoint and stole cash. Maher pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 22/11/10 - 24/11/2010 = Possession of a firearm or imitation firearm = Attwood pleaded guilty to: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 22/11/10 - 24/11/2010 = Possession of a firearm or imitation firearm

Count 20 - conspiracy to rob Hudsons, Unit 10 Commodore House, Juniper Drive SW18 - 29 November 2010 during which 4 suspects threatened staff with violence and stole cash. Woods, Gurney and Leaver all pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 28/11/10 - 30/11/2010

Count 21 - robbery of a cab driver in Octavia Street SW11 - 3 December 2010. The cab driver drove the 3 suspects to Octavia Street SW11 and stopped. The driver was suddenly grabbed around the throat by one of the men in the rear of the vehicle whilst the others robbed him of cash and a handheld computer. Woods and Beasley pleaded guilty to the following: = Robbery

Count 22 - conspiracy to rob Londis, 82-84 Plough Road, London, SW11 - 12 December 2010 during which staff were threatened at knifepoint and cash stolen. Maher and Woods both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 11/12/2010 - 13/12/2010

Count 23 - conspiracy to rob Spar Newsagents, 56 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 - 15 December 2010 during which 2 suspects threatened staff at knifepoint and attempted to steal cash. They were unable to do so and left the shop. Maher and Woods both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 14/12/2010 - 16/12/2010

Count 24 - conspiracy to rob Condell Newsagents, 12 Condell Road, London, SW8 - 15 December 2010 during which 2 suspects entered the store armed with knives. A second cashier came out of a store room and the first cashier shouted at him to call the police. The suspect tried to stop him by grabbing his arm, and received a stab wound to his arm. Maher and Woods both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 14/12/2010 - 16/12/2010

Count 25 - conspiracy to rob Hudson's, Unit 10, Commodore House, Juniper Drive, London, SW18 - 15 December 2010 during which staff were threatened at knifepoint and cash stolen. Maher and Woods both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 14/12/2010 - 16/12/2010

Count 26 - conspiracy to rob East Hill Food & Wine, 50 East Hill, London, SW18 - 16 December 2010 during which staff were threatened at knifepoint and stole cash. Maher and Woods both pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 15/12/2010 - 17/12/2010

Count 27 - Gorgeous Bikes Ltd 496 Kings Road SW10 - 20 January 2011 during which the victim was working alone in the shop when two suspects wearing motorcycle helmets entered the shop. One of the males produced a firearm and the victim to the floor pointing the firearm at his head. He was repeated threatened with violence and both suspects stole a large quantity of expensive motorcycle helmets. Attwood pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 19/01/2011 - 21/01/2011 Brown was found guilty following a trial at Kingston for the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 19/01/2011 - 21/01/2011 = Possession of a firearm or imitation firearm

Count 28 - conspiracy to rob Texaco/co-operative, Service Station, Wandsworth Road, London SW8 = 21 January 2011. Attwood pleaded guilty to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 20/01/2011 - 22/01/2011 Count 29 - conspiracy to rob Tesco Express Wandsworth Road SW8 - 2 February 2011 during which a G4S custodian was attacked and a cash box containing £17,600 was stolen. Brown was found guilty following a trial at Kingston to the following: = Conspiracy to commit robbery between 01/02/2011 - 03/02/2011

March 5, 2012