Bermondsey smash and grab gang are facing ‘very long time’ in jail

Court Reporter (29 October, 2015)

The jewellery raid mob will be sentenced next month.

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A Bermondsey gang of smash-and-grab robbers who stole £37,000 of Rolex watches are facing “a very long time” in jail.

The men used sledgehammers to smash through the reinforced glass windows of Attenborough Jewellers in Bethnal Green, east London, and grab a handful of watches in a “gone in 60 seconds” raid on October 9.

Jamie Hull, 21, Michael Ogun, 22, Gary O’Brien, 22, a 23-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named are facing jail over the raid.

Ogun, O’Brien, and the 17-year-old admitted conspiracy to rob, while Hull and the 23-year-old were found guilty by an Old Bailey jury.

Judge Christopher Hehir QC adjourned sentencing to November 20, but warned the defendants they are “going to prison for a very long time”.

Relatives of Hull and the 23-year-old wept in the public gallery as the unanimous verdicts were delivered, while Hull slumped in his seat surrounded by prisoner guards.

“The whole incident had lasted for less than a minute. It left the sales assistant shocked and frightened because of the violent nature of what had occurred”, said prosecutor Roger Smart QC.

“Four motorcycle clothing clad men using two motorised bikes carried out a well-planned audacious robbery before making off with a quantity of valuable watches using a car.”

Shocked shoppers saw two of the men riding pillion on the back of the motorbikes jump off and use mallets to strike the glass window repeatedly.

Sales assistant Darren Pewtner pressed the panic alarm to lower the shutters, but one of the robbers propped it open with one of the sledgehammers.

They then reached into the window and snatched Rolex watches worth thousands of pounds. As they rushed to flee, they dropped four Rolex watches worth a total value of £12,000 which were found strewn across the pavement. The men climbed on the back of the waiting mopeds and sped away to a black Mitsubishi and a silver Toyota Corolla in nearby Quilter Street.

However, two passing bailiffs using an automatic number plate recognition camera spotted the robbers changing vehicles.

Minutes later, police saw the black Mitsubishi approaching the Rotherhithe Tunnel and stopped it before it reached the A2.

Driver Gary O’Brien and passengers Michael Ogun and the 17-year-old were all arrested and a rucksack containing Rolex watch boxes printed with the name and address of Attenborough Jewellers was recovered.

The 23-year-old was arrested at a flat in Southwark on 17 January this year while Hull was arrested on 20 January.

Ogun admitted being part of the jewellery robbery, but denied separate charges of carrying out four street robberies a month earlier.

Hull, of Anchor Street, Bermondsey, and the 23 year-old man, also from Bermondsey, had both denied conspiracy to commit robbery between 1 September and 11 October 2014.

O’Brien, of Brunel Road, Rotherhithe,  and the 17-year-old, from Bermondsey, and Ogun, of Albion Estate, Bermondsey, admitted conspiracy to commmit robbery.

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