'Italian Job'-style armed robbers jailed for a total of 32 years after making off with £340,000
Paul Gallagher is a reporter for the Independent and Independent on Sunday having joined the group in 2012. He has previously worked for the European Voice, Daily Mirror and the Observer and been based in Brussels, Belfast, Tokyo and London.
Thursday 27 February 2014
A gang of armed robbers who stole £340,000 in two Italian Job-style raids were jailed for a total of 32 years today.
The quartet used Mini Coopers to make their getaway from an East London money transfer shop imitating Michael Caine and his gang in iconic scenes from the 1969 heist movie. Shetu Meah, 32, Junior Hassan, 23, Akbar Hussain, 40, and Vinton Meade, 29, lay in wait for staff at the Barakah store in Whitechapel before following them they left and ambushing them in secluded residential streets. The store did not have any security to deliver takings.
The gang, led by Meah, netted £310,000 when they ambushed Barakah owner Hafiz Abdul Kadir in December 2011 as he got home in nearby Manor Park. Despite being held by police over the violent first raid, Meah was freed and still on bail 10 months later when Barakah worker Shahin Ahmed was robbed of £30,000.
Judge Timothy Pontius said: “It was a rash decision to release him on bail, given the nature of the first robbery.”
Meah fled to Bangladesh after the raid with his share of the haul while Hussain went on a spending spree bagging a BMW car. Judge Pontius said: “Both robberies were committed 10 months apart were undoubtedly well planned, carefully researched and carried out with inevitable ruthless efficiency which that planning resulted in. It was the lure of significant financial reward which led the robbers to select the business.”
Meah was handed a 12-year sentence due to the violence he used in the raids. Hassan was given nine years. Hussain, who has been in and out of prison since his first conviction in 1989, including a 54-month sentence for robbery with a hammer and knife, was given six years. Meade was sentenced to five years in prison.
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
- 1 Sick elderly man makes 'complete turnaround' after emotional reunion with dog
- 2 Star Wars memorabilia dubbed 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 3 Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
- 4 Ebola cruise ship ‘in utter panic’ as Mexico and Belize refuse to let it dock
- 5 Death of northern white rhino leaves just six of endangered animals left in the world