Five men have been jailed after a planned armed robbery with knives and machetes led to a man’s murder.

The gang ranging from areas including Romford, Hornchurch, Ilford, Kentish Town and Basildon, will now spend years in prison after the brutal attack on March 19, 2022.

The Old Bailey heard that Imran Isat, 30, was watching television with a couple of friends at his home on Springfield Drive Ilford, when the five men broke down the front door of the home.

At around 1.15am, they then broke down the door of Imran’s flatmate while the other three went upstairs to the living room.

Romford Recorder: Imran Isat, 30, of Ilford was killed in the attackImran Isat, 30, of Ilford was killed in the attack (Image: Met Police)

Once Imran heard the noise, he went to the living room door to try keep the men out, but he couldn’t close it.

One of the men, who was holding a large knife, managed to stab Imran through the gap between the door, forcing him backwards.

The robbers forced themselves in with knives and machetes shouting “where’s the stuff?” and Imran pleaded “don’t hurt me – take what you want”.

Romford Recorder: Dominic DiopDominic Diop (Image: Met Police)

The Metropolitan Police says one of the robbers stabbed him, while another struck one of his friends on the head with the flat blade of a knife.

One of the robbers then shouted “we’ve found it” and “let’s go” as they fled from the scene.

CCTV later recorded Paul Higgins, of Fanshawe Crescent in Hornchurch, leaving with a suitcase and then going back inside to get a second suitcase.

Romford Recorder: Paul HigginsPaul Higgins (Image: Met Police)

One of the other men, Ronnie Haydon of Grafton Crescent, Kentish Town, also left carrying a bag.

Romford Recorder: Ronnie HaydonRonnie Haydon (Image: Met Police)

None of the defendants ever told police what was in the bags and police were never able to uncover what they stole.

Emergency services tried saving Imran’s life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination later found that he had been stabbed five times, one of which penetrated his heart.

Romford Recorder: Dwaine MorrisonDwaine Morrison (Image: Met Police)

As investigations took place, it became apparent that the robbery was planned as doorbell cameras showed some members arriving earlier and keeping the house under surveillance.

The Met said it’s believed that the gang were after drugs, money or both and that the gang arrived in two cars under false plates.

They were arrested in July 2022 and refused to answer police questions.

Romford Recorder: Salah’din KerboubaSalah’din Kerbouba (Image: Met Police)

Appearing in court on Friday (October 6), Dwain Morrison, 34, of Chudleigh Road in Romford, was sentenced a minimum of 33 years imprisonment for murder.

The rest were jailed for manslaughter, including:

  • Ronnie Haydon, 32, of Grafton Crescent, Kentish Town– sentenced to minimum of 16 years imprisonment
  • Paul Higgins, 36, of Fanshawe Crescent, Hornchurch – sentenced to minimum of 16 years imprisonment
  • Salah’din Kerbouba, 28,of Sandringham Gardens, Ilford– sentenced to minimum of 16 years imprisonment
  • Dominic Diop, 33, of Cranfield Park Avenue, Basildon – sentenced to minimum of 16 years imprisonment.

Detective Chief Inspector Joanna Yorke from the Met’s Specialist Crime, said: “This was a planned robbery by a gang who had pre-armed themselves with knives and machetes. Members of the gang were recorded scoping out the house prior to the assault and the cars they used were on false plates.

“The weapons they brought with them clearly show these men were ready to use violence, and murder was the result. This killing was pointless, it is probable that when the fatal stab wound was inflicted, Mr Isat was on the ground and not offering any resistance. It was a callous act of brutality that took his life.

“We may never know what the gang stole, but it was surely not worth killing a man while he was helpless on the ground.”