Brentwood man sentenced to four years in prison for part in �1 million bullion heist
A Brentwood man was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday for his part in a daring �1 million bullion heist.
The court was packed with family and friends of David Chatwood and five other men who all face jail for the plot.
Sisters Sam and Billie Faiers from The Only Way is Essex were in court to see their step-father Chatwood sentenced.
Chatwood, 58, of Sawyers Grove, is behind bars already because he was recalled from licence having been given a 12-year sentence in 2001 for drug supply and firearms offences.
The six defendants were being sentenced for conspiracy to steal after a British lorry carrying gold and silver bullion was robbed in a fake hold-up in Belgium in October last year.
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They each played different roles in the plot. Lorry driver Brian Mulcahay was the inside man.
Mulcahay, 46, of Grosvenor Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years; Chatwood received four years imprisonment; Stanley Rose, 75, of Iver, Pilgrims Hatch, was sentenced to four years; David Gale, 55, of Hansells Mead, Harlow, and Gary Cummings, 51, of Anne Way, Ilford, both received three years imprisonment. All pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal.
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John Corley, 53, of Tankerton Road, Whitstable, Kent, was found guilty following a trial.
A seventh man, Matthew Middleton, 42, of Crows Road, Epping, Essex, also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at a later date.
The Faiers sisters had been due to give evidence at Corley’s trial but were not called.
The court was told Mulcahay was discovered by police locked in his vehicle in Belgium on October 4 after ringing his employers to say he had been robbed.
Chatwood was seen to contact some of the other accused conspirators four days later at a Harvester restaurant in Dartford, Kent.
Nine days after the robbery, most of the bullion was discovered in an apartment and a hotel room in Antwerp which had been rented by Rose.
The robbers were captured within days and had been unaware that they had been watched by police as they hatched their plot.
John Price, QC, prosecuting, told an earlier hearing: “Although this theft was executed in Belgium, this British lorry and its valuable bullion cargo had been targeted for the theft by British thieves.
“This had been a crime ‘Made in Britain’.