Ilford and Barkingside men among five security firm raiders who lose appeal against sentences

Five men who were jailed for their roles in a gang which stole thousands of pounds robbing security firms have lost appeals against their sentences.

Robbers targeted couriers as they delivered or picked up cash at premises across Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire over 15 months from November 2009.

They were caught after police launched Operation Murcia which smashed the gang’s network.

Numerous men were jailed for their roles, as organisers or as the “grabbers and snatchers” who stole cash boxes in individual raids.

Nathan Leon Wellington, 30, of Putney Gardens, Chadwell Heath, one of the ringleaders, who was jailed for 11 years for conspiracy to rob, lost his appeal last week.

Grabbers, Vimal Jadeja, 21, of Craven Gardens, Barkingside; Jerome Greenidge, 19, of Albert Road, Ilford; Lukaine Bell-Edwards, 18, of Gorseway, Rush Green, and Luke Caley Malillah, 19, of Station Road, Harold Wood, also lost appeals against four-year terms for single individual robberies.

Giving the Court of Appeal judgment, Justice Ouseley, sitting with Lady Justice Hallett and Justice Haddon-Cave, said Wellington and other leaders had recruited the younger men to carry out the actual robberies.

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While Wellington’s sentence was justified, he said the four-year terms for the four younger men were appropriate for the seriousness of their roles in individual offences.

He continued: “It would be wrong, when judging the nature of the offences in which the individual appellants were involved, not to recognise that they were involved in what was a significant series of cash-in-transit robberies.

“It would be a failure of real understanding of their criminality to treat each robbery as a single isolated event. To describe them as amateurish does not reflect the sophistication which is required in order to carry out a cash-in-transit robbery.”