Man jailed for series of armed robberies in Newham
An armed robber who fired a gun to terrify shopkeepers during a spate of armed robberies has been jailed after the Flying Squad tracked him down.
Crispin Kent, 46 (19.01.77), of Alnwick Road, E16, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, 28 September, where he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment having been found guilty at an earlier hearing of three counts of armed robbery, and one count of robbery of a vehicle in which he and another male posed as police officers when they pulled a lone woman over in her car.
Detective Constable Craig Prout of the Flying Squad, said: “Kent is clearly a violent individual who thinks nothing of getting what he wants, or of the long-lasting impact his offences have had on these innocent victims. They are people who were going about their day as normal and Kent made them fear for their lives.”
The court heard that the three robberies had taken place in December 2019 in the Newham area.
On each occasion the suspect entered the store with his face concealed and fired a gun at the floor before demanding money from the till.
Thankfully there were no reported injuries, and in the last offence the armed male was chased from the premises by brave shop staff. But only an hour later, police were called after a woman was pulled over by two males posing as police officers in Wick Lane E3, who then stole her vehicle and drove off.
The Met’s Flying Squad and detectives from Central East Command Unit were alerted and began an investigation, quickly linking the incidents together.
They retrieved footage showing a dark coloured vehicle travelling to and from the scenes of each robbery, which helped identify Kent as a suspect. They went on to secure footage showing a matching vehicle on Kent’s own driveway.
He was arrested at his home address in February 2020. During a search of his house, officers found clothing worn during the offences.
CCTV footage also captured Kent seemingly replacing the number plates of the vehicle outside his home address.
DNA and ballistic evidence further linked Kent to the robberies after the firearm was recovered. The firearm was taken for specialist examination and found to be a blank firearm with the paint scratched off to resemble a real Beretta self-loading pistol.
He was convicted in March 2023.
The other man involved has never been identified and work continues to establish identity.
DC Prout added: “I am pleased that the sentence handed down reflects the seriousness of Kent’s offending. It is entirely correct that he spends a significant amount of time behind bars.”
TIMELINE OF OFFENCES:
1 - Constance Street, E16 - Wednesday 11/12/2019 - 2240 hours - £670 stolen.
2 - Fife Road, E16 - Tuesday 17/12/2019 - 1924 hours - £329 stolen
3 - Vicarage Lane, E6 - Wednesday 18/12/2019 - 2239 hours - Attempt, nothing stolen
4 - Wick Lane, E3 - Robbery of vehicle - Wednesday 18/12/2019 23:25hrs hours