Man who robbed Barkingside brothel with knife jailed

A man who targeted brothels and sex workers in a series of violent robberies has been jailed.

Vytautas Rubys, 22, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court after pleading guilty to three counts of robbery and one count of handling stolen goods.

Posing as a potential client, Rubys targeted brothels and addresses he knew were being used by sex workers in late 2011 and early 2012, before his arrest in Leyton on May 3.

On December 22, at around 9.15pm, he entered a property in Horns Road, Barkingside, with another male.

Once inside, they attempted to allow access for a further three men, and struggled with the four female occupants as they tried to stop this from happening.

Two of the women managed to get away from the men, who were armed with knives, while the other two were restrained. One of them was then forced to get money from various locations in the property and the suspects escaped with around �1,000.

On the evening of January 11, Rubys called an escort based in Back Lane to arrange an appointment.

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After being lured out of her property, the woman was surrounded by a number of hooded men, grabbed by one of them who covered her mouth, and then forced back into the property.

In addition to the defendant there were three other men.

They ransacked the flat and one of the men threatened the victim with a screwdriver, saying he would stab her if she did not direct him to her cash and valuables.

The victim was tied up while her attackers took �600, a mobile phone and designer handbags worth �5,000.

The next day a premises used by a number of escorts in Oak Road, Ealing, was targeted by a gang, one of who stayed at the entrance of the property while the offence took place.

Rubys also pleaded guilty to handling a ring which had been taken in a robbery at an address in Sorrell Gardens, Newham, on December 3.

Det Insp John Cracknell, of the London Crime Squad North, who led Operation Evelegh, said: “Rubys was a violent offender who had no qualms when it came to targeting vulnerable women in the pursuit of money and other valuables. It is right that he has received a substantial custodial sentence.

“We are indebted to these women who provided valuable evidence in this case despite their difficult personal circumstances.”

Rubys was jailed for three and a half years for the robbery and two years for the handling stolen goods – sentences to run concurrently.