Romford and Brentwood men jailed for conspiring to rob cash from transit vans

18:16 16 April 2014

Tommy Aitken was jailed today. Picture: Met Police

Tommy Aitken was jailed today. Picture: Met Police


Three people were jailed today after their conspiracy to rob cash from transit vans was foiled by a police sting operation.

The shotgun in the black holdall. Picture: Met PoliceThe shotgun in the black holdall. Picture: Met Police

Tommy Aitken, 38, Romford, and Patrick Claydon, 49, of Brentwood, were sentenced to a total of 26 and a half years imprisonment for the conspiracy to rob transit vans and for the possession a firearm with the intent to commit an indictable offence and for possessing a prohibited weapon.

Officers from the Flying Squad made their arrests in November 2013 in a planned operation in Leigh-on-Sea.

A Post Office transit van pulled into Eastwood Road North to make a cash delivery. Claydon and Aitken lay in waiting in a car across the road.

As the van pulled up, Claydon - dressed in a balaclava and carrying a black holdall containing a loaded shotgun - got out of the car and approached the van.

Patrick Claydon. Picture: Met PolicePatrick Claydon. Picture: Met Police

Officers then swooped on the pair and arrested them both before searching the car to find a stun gun and a second balaclava.

The third, Sandra Clark, 45, of Leigh-on-Sea, who was parked a short distance away in Danescroft Drive, was also arrested.

All three were charged on the day of the operation that saw no shots fired.

Officers discovered another shotgun and ammunition after searching Claydon’s residence.

Sandra Clark. Picture: Met PoliceSandra Clark. Picture: Met Police

The Class A drugs were found in a search of Clarke’s address.

All three pleaded guilty to the charges at Snaresbrook Crown Court today.

Det Sgt Scott Chimes of the Met’s Flying Squad led the operation that was assisted by Essex Police.

He said: “Our investigation revealed that Claydon, Aitken and Clarke conspired and planned to rob cash in transit custodians in Essex over a period of months in 2013. However, they were caught in the act as they tried to put their plans into action - this was due to diligent and meticulous police work.

“This operation has also seen two potentially lethal firearms taken off the streets.”

Aitken, 38, of Braithwaite Avenue was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment the conspiracy to rob and for the possession of a firearm.

Claydon, 49, of Ongar Road, was sentenced to 14 and a half years for the same offences.

Sandra Clark, 45, who lives on the road of the incident, was sentenced to seven years for the conspiracy to rob and the possession of Class A drugs.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Robert Bull, the pilot killed after his plane crashed in Gravel Lane, Chigwell

Tributes have been paid to a Hornchurch pilot tragically killed alongside his colleague when their plane crashed into a field and burst into flames.

Havering Council has halted the demolition of the Mecca Bingo hall in Hornchurch

A dramatic turn of events has seen the demolition of the Mecca Bingo hall in Hornchurch halted by Havering Council.

Yesterday, 15:24
Ivana Bartoletti

An NHS worker and a mother expecting her second child, Labour’s London Assembly candidate, Ivana Bartoletti, wants to send a message of “trust and hope”.

Yesterday, 12:25
Picture: BrianAJackson

The A127 Ardleigh Green Bridge was reduced to a single lane carriageway in both directions on Monday as work to replace it continues.

Yesterday, 07:00
Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced a multi-million plan for the redevelopment of 86 acres of industrial land owned by the Greater London Authority in London Riverside on Friday.

A multi-million plan to develop 86 acres of riverside land will regenerate at least eight run-down industrial sites in Rainham.

Tue, 17:57
Circus big top. Picture: Johnny Green/PA

Rival circuses are accusing each other of using “every trick in the book” to drum up publicity for their own event after rolling into town at the same time.

Tue, 17:24
Rainham Hall

An 18th century manor upheld as one of the country’s finest surviving examples of a Georgian merchant’s home has opened to the public for the first time.

Tue, 14:55
The site would be one of three in London. Picture: David Parry/PA

Drivers could be popping into Rainham to charge their hydrogen-fuelled cars within 18 months after developers earmarked the area for their £31million project.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder