Gang who used "gratuitous violence" jailed after South Woodford robbery
PUBLISHED: 09:56 24 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:56 24 May 2013
A gang which used "gratuitous violence" to intimidate victims has been jailed following a spate of armed robberies.
Two of the gang, dressed in boiler suits, gloves and balaclavas, attacked staff and tried to break into a cash-in- transit van holding £110,000 outside Waitrose, High Road, South Woodford, in July.
Saqib Waheed, 27, of East Ham, and Darian Davis, 34, of no fixed abode, were arrested by specialist police unit the Flying Squad.
The pair had been watched by police leading up to their attempt to rob the Loomis van which was making a delivery. Waqaas Malik, 28, of Plaistow, and Adam Ephraim, 22, of Croydon, were arrested later.
On each robbery across east London, Essex and Kent, the gang used high levels of violence with a number of members of staff having to be treated in hospital.
Det Insp Mark Field, of the Flying Squad, said: “It is fortunate that no one was seriously injured.”
The four men appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, each charged with one count of conspiracy to rob. Malik denied the charge but was convicted. The other three pleaded guilty.
Waheed and Malik were sentenced to 14 years in prison. Davis was sentenced to eight and Ephraim to five.
Det Sgt Tom Smith, who led the investigation, said: “The gang had no qualms in using extensive violence to intimidate their victims. Thanks to diligent police work these four men are now where they belong – behind bars.”
The gang targeted cash in transit vans at an Esso petrol station in Romford, an HSBC bank in Newham and a Lidl in south east London.