A team of violent robbers, who even tried to rob the police officers who had them under surveillance, have been jailed.
The court heard how the men were part of a gang of organised criminals who carried out a string of robberies and aggravated burglaries.
All eight were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Monday, 29 March and Tuesday, 30 March.
The offences occurred between Wednesday, 10 April 2020 and Friday, 19 July 2020. These involved the gang, usually masked, forcing their way into homes or confronting people in their cars and demanding money or high value watches.
The following were found guilty following a four-week trial beginning on Monday, 10 November 2020:
Patrick Delaney, 30 (18.04.90) of Clarence Way, Camden was sentenced to a total of 16 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary and attempted robbery.
Martin Delaney, 29 (23.07.91) of Hawley Road, Camden was sentenced to a total of 11 years’ imprisonment for attempted robbery and robbery.
Kiaron Jones-Hewitt 27 (07.06.93) of Sherriff Road, West Hampstead was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for attempted robbery.
Additionally, Andy Kiasuka-Kiakanda, 26 (15.03.95) of Rowley Way, NW8 who pleaded guilty at the start of the trial and was sentenced to a total of 14 years and four months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary, and a further offence of robbery.
Four other men involved in the crime spree had earlier been found guilty on Wednesday, 28 October 2020 at Harrow Crown Court of conspiracy to commit burglary and robbery, they were also sentenced as follows:
Cheyenne Cato, 27 (05.02.94) of Iverson Road, West Hampstead was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Jordan Northover, 28 (22.03.93) of no fixed address was sentenced to a total of 18 years’ imprisonment. He was also sentenced to six years’ imprisonment to run concurrently for an attempted robbery of two Arsenal football players on 25 July 2019.
Ryan Leurs, 19 (06.12.01) of Maitland Park Villas, Hampstead was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.
Steven Barton, 20 (04.02.01) of Denton Malden Crescent, Camden was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.
The offences were committed mainly in north London, around Finchley, Barnet and Hampstead and members of the gang regularly carried knives or machetes to threaten their victims. In all, 20 offences are believed to have been committed by various members of the gang, sometimes working in pairs, but usually working in groups of four or five.
Detectives from the Met’s Central Specialist Crime (Flying Squad) linked the series of offences and began an investigation, placing the gang under surveillance.
On Friday, 19 July 2020 at 23:20hrs, surveillance officers witnessed four members of the gang, who were all wearing masks, carry out a burglary at an address in Barnet Gate.
The householders were away and shortly after entering the suspects activated the alarm and fled the scene empty handed. The four managed to make off in an Audi which was on false plates and had been stolen five days previously during another burglary in Golders Green.
Half an hour later they attempted to rob the occupants of a car in Thurlow Crescent, Hampstead. The gang used a metal bar in an attempt to smash the car window, but only caused minor damage and no injury to the occupants.
Unfortunately for them, this was an unmarked police car which was watching and recording the gang’s criminal activities. As a result, Flying Squad officers and the assisting police helicopter descended on the scene and the four fled in the stolen car.
They were followed to a railway bridge in Gordon House Road, where the car was abandoned and the suspects made their way to a nearby flat. Barton and Northover tried to make off on bicycles but they were intercepted and arrested. Cato and Leurs were arrested in the address.
Three large machete/zombie knives were found inside the premises and all four were arrested for conspiracy to commit burglary and possession with intent to supply.
As a result of all the evidence gathered during the operation, other members of the gang were later arrested and charged as above.
Detective Sergeant Gary Taylor from the Flying Squad, said: “The way this gang targeted their victims and threatened them with weapons during their crime spree was truly shocking and abhorrent. The impact these heinous crimes have had on the victims cannot be understated.
“These defendants wrongly thought they wouldn’t be caught. However, Flying Squad officers were able to close the net on these robbers and bring them into custody after a proactive surveillance operation.
“I would like to praise the victims for supporting this prosecution, and I hope these convictions will go some way to giving them some comfort. Across London, officers are working hard to keep the public safe by identifying people involved in serious violence and bringing them to justice.”
During one robbery, on Wednesday, 10 April, 2020, a man was waiting in his car when a black moped pulled up and the pillion passenger demanded his watch. The robber forced a machete through a gap in the car window, narrowly missing the victim. The victim ran from his car and was chased into a garden where he was threatened with serious violence, resulting him handing over his Rolex watch.
In another robbery, on Sunday, 19 May 2020, in Finchley, five masked men, one armed with a large knife, forced entry into a gated residential home. Once inside they forced a locked bedroom door and pushed the 80-year-old female occupant to the floor. They smashed her wardrobes and demanded to know where the safe was. They left when the terrified victim told them there wasn’t one.
Another burglary occurred on Wednesday, 12 June 2020, in Golders Green. A mother was at home with her two children when two burglars wearing balaclavas forced entry using a crow bar. She tried to deter them from entering by holding up her phone saying that she was calling the police. She then ran and hid upstairs whilst the suspects stole the keys to a black Audi.
Another terrifying crime occurred on Thursday, 13 June 2020, in St Johns Wood. At around 22:15hrs a man was in his bedroom when he heard loud banging and then voices in his home. He locked his bedroom door but it was forced open by five men wearing balaclavas.
One of the men threatened him with a knife and demanded the location of a safe or any watches. When the victim told him he didn’t have any due to a previous burglary he was again threatened with knife being held to his throat. He was then further threatened with a handgun but still maintained he did not have anything. Thankfully local officers were alerted to the scene and the gang fled, managing to make their escape.
During a further offence on Thursday, 16 July 2020 in Brondesbury Park, four members of the gang forced their way into an address via a bathroom window. The occupants awoke to find the masked men in their bedroom. A member of the gang held a crow bar over the head of the male victim and threatened his wife that he would come to harm if she did not open the safe. The gang emptied a safe of £93,000 of jewellery and £6,000 cash. When the woman denied having a second safe, a member of the gang threatened to ‘go and see her daughter’ who was sleeping next door.
+ Unrelated to these matters, Jordan Northover pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday, 6 November 2019.
This related to an offence in Platts Lane, NW3, shortly before 17:00hrs on Thursday, 25 July 2019. Officers were called to reports of an attempted robbery involving two suspects on a motorbike.
CCTV showed the suspects pulling up behind the victim, who was talking to his friend in a car. One of the suspects pulled a sharp object from a rucksack and threatened the man, whilst demanding his watch.
The man stood his ground, and fought the suspects off before getting into his friend’s vehicle. The car made off, and they were followed for some distance by the suspects.
The victim of the attempted robbery, along with the male driver of the vehicle and a female passenger, got away unharmed. Detectives from the Met’s Operation Venice investigated this offence
+ Previously in relation to the Platts Lane offence, Ashley Smith, 31 (15.08.89) of Cardinals Way, N19, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, 3 October 2020 where he pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of Class B drugs (cannabis). He was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday, 8 November to ten years in prison.