Fraser was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment and Charles was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.
They were found guilty following a trial at the same court on Monday, 8 November of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon. In addition, Fraser pleaded guilty at earlier hearing to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply.
The court heard that on 9 February 2019, the victim returned to his home in Leyton at about 20:00hrs when he was ambushed at his front door by Charles and Fraser, who were concealing their identity.
Charles demanded that the victim handed over money and when he refused, Charles threatened him by brandishing a machete. Fraser, who was aged 16 at the time of the robbery, then grabbed the money – £5,700 – and the pair tried to escape.
However, the victim bravely fought back and tackled Charles to the ground, knocking his face covering off. Fraser then got on his bicycle and went to make-off, but the victim kicked him off the bike which resulted in it being inoperable and a machete sheath and mobile phone being dropped.
During the struggle, the victim’s wife went outside because of the commotion. To aide their escape, the robber’s punched the victims to the floor. While the victims were distracted, something that appeared like a firearm was pointed at them, which enabled the robbers to escape.
Detectives from the North East Area’s Gangs Unit launched an investigation and initially identified Charles and Fraser after their DNA was found on the phone dropped at the scene. Charles was later positively identified in an identity parade by the victim.
The officers carried out mobile phone enquiries, which showed that Charles and Fraser were talking to each other before and after the incident – including Charles continuously trying to contact Fraser on the phone dropped at the scene.
Further enquiries showed that Charles was slowly depositing money into his bank account, while Fraser deposited a large sum of money on an expensive watch.
During the trial, Charles and Fraser told the court that they were in fact drug dealers and not robbers and that the police’s evidence was that of drug supply and not robbery. However, the jury disagreed and unanimously found them both guilty of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.
Fraser was further convicted of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
On 12 August 2020, officers attended Fraser’s bail address in Loughton, Essex, to conduct an arrest enquiry after he breached his bail conditions for the robbery.
While conducting the arrest, officers found a golf ball sized wrap of white powder in Fraser’s room – which Fraser claimed was baking powder.
However, the officers did not believe him and they continued to search the room where they found another golf ball sized wrap of white powder in his bedroom drawer. The powder was sent off for testing and was found to be heroin and cutting agents – valued at £760 (street value).
Detectives also downloaded Fraser’s phone and found messages that indicated he was supplying Class A drugs between 25 July and 12 August 2020.
Detective Constable Aaron Barnes-Weston, the investigating officer from the North East Area’s Gangs Unit, said: “This investigation has resulted in two very violent individuals being jailed for a considerable period of time, safeguarding the public. They ambushed the victim at his home address – a place he should be safe – and they had no qualms with brandishing a dangerous weapon and even assaulting a woman in a bid to escape with the victim’s hard earned money.
“The victim showed great courage and character in defending himself, his family and his property during the incident whilst also identifying the offender during identity procedures and supporting police giving evidence. While it was a terrifying ordeal, thankfully neither the victim nor his wife were seriously injured during the incident.
“The Met will continue to robustly target and bring to justice violent offenders like Charles and Fraser.”