Violent armed robbers, who hospitalised cash guards in Collier Row hold-up, jailed
- Credit: Archant
A gang which used “gratuitous violence” to intimidate victims has been jailed for a spate of robberies.
Two of the gang, wearing balaclavas, attacked cash-in-transit staff at the Esso Petrol Station, Collier Row Road, Collier Row, in June.
The Loomis guards were punched and kicked with such ferocity that one lost consciousness and both were hospitalised.
The attackers, who got away with £4,750, made off in a stolen Vauxhall Vectra, later recovered and found to contain an axe.
Saqib Waheed, 27, of East Ham, and Darian Davis, 34, of no fixed abode, were arrested by the Flying Squad.
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The pair had been watched by police leading up to their attempt to rob another Loomis van in South Woodford a month later. Waqaas Malik, 28, of Plaistow, and Adam Ephraim, 22, of Croydon, were arrested later.
The outfit struck across east London, Essex and Kent, using high levels of violence.
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Det Insp Mark Field, of the Flying Squad, said: “It is fortunate that no one was seriously injured.”
The four men appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, each charged with one count of conspiracy to rob. Malik denied the charge but was convicted.
The others pleaded guilty.
Waheed and Malik were sentenced to 14 years in prison. Davis was sentenced to eight and Ephraim to five.
The gang had also targeted cash-in-transit vans in Kent, Newham and south east London.
In passing sentence, Her Honor Judge Korner identified Waheed, Malik and Davis as “dangerous persons”, telling them the violence used was “beyond that which was necessary.”
After the hearing, Det Sgt Tom Smith, who led the investigation, said: “The gang had no qualms in using extensive violence to intimidate their victims.
“Thanks to diligent police work these four men are now where they belong – behind bars.”