August 1 2014 Latest news:
Sam Blewett, Reporter
Friday, June 6, 2014
A prolific burglar who targeted pubs in Havering and assaulted a landlord who was defending his business has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Homeless Michael Ryan, 39, was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court last week for a string of offences which he said he committed to feed his heroin and cocaine addiction.
He pleaded guilty to five offences in court relating to burglaries in pubs across London, including the Hornchurch raid, and a further 50 were considered by the judge.
He also admitted to officers that he was involved in raids in pubs in Romford and Upminster.
Ryan was arrested in Islington for aggravated burglary in December last year after an extensive police investigation.
Ryan and an accomplice assaulted a pub landlord in Croydon during a raid in November.
The victim, a man in his forties, was disturbed by a noise while he was sleeping in his home above the pub.
He went downstairs to check the premises and was confronted by Ryan and the other suspect who were trying to break into the fruit machines with a sledge hammer and a spade.
The victim tried to stop them but was hit over the head with a spade.
The attack was captured on CCTV and officers found traces of Ryan’s blood at the premises.
Det Con David Thompson, from Croydon CID, said: “I would like to thank the victims from the many burglaries committed by Ryan as they provided us with great support and were patient during our extensive enquiries.
“Ryan is a habitual thief and the sentence reflects this. We remain committed to investigating all burglaries and bringing those responsible to court.”
A second man awaits trial in connection with two of the burglaries.
Landlady locks herself upstairs as ‘fearless’ burglars raid pub fruit machines