Armed gang jailed for thirty years

Three men responsible for a series of armed robberies in North London and Hertfordshire have been sentenced to a combined total of 31 years in jail.

Anthony Wright 38 (13.7.79) of Montrose Road, Harrow, Suleyman Karayilan, 41 (14.12.76) of Bowater Road, Wembley and Dean Smith, 22 (20.10.95) of no fixed address, were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Tuesday, 24 April.

All three defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to possess an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Karayilan was sentenced to 11 years and four months’ imprisonment, Wright was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment and Smith was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.

The robbers targeted a series of bookmakers including Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred and William Hill in the Harrow, Finchley and Bushey Heath area during a short period between 22 November and 28 November 2017.

On each occasion, Karayilan entered the bookmakers, produced a handgun and demanded money from the till.

During six of the eight offences, Smith held the door open to facilitate Karayilan’s escape. Wright was identified as being the ‘getaway driver’ on all eight occasions and Karayilan was caught on CCTV during each of the offences.

In total, the gang stole more than £2,000.

The three men were arrested by Flying Squad officers immediately after they carried out a robbery at Coral in High Road, Bushey Heath.

Karayilan was found to be in possession of a gas powered ‘BB’ gun along with approximately £90 that had been stolen minutes earlier.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Scott Hartley, of the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “These men were responsible for a series of violent robberies in short space of time.

“A swift investigation by the Flying Squad quickly identified these men.

“As a result of the fact they were arrested in possession of the gun and stolen cash, an overwhelmingly strong case was built against these defendants, leaving them no option to plead guilty.

“The lengthy sentences handed out by the judge reflect the severity of offences involving the use of a firearm.

“I would like to thank all the officers from the Flying Squad involved in this operation who acted with the upmost professionalism to bring this series of armed robberies to a swift conclusion.”

Dates and locations of robberies

1. Robbery at Coral, Preston Road, Harrow, on 22 November 2017 at 20:10hrs.
2. Robbery at Ladbrokes, College Hill Road, Harrow, on 22 November 2017 at 20:30hrs.
3. Robbery at Coral, Uxbridge Road, Pinner, on 23 November 2017 at 19:34hrs
4. Attempted robbery at Ladbrokes, Kenton Park Parade, Harrow, on 23 November 2017, 20:20hrs
5. Robbery at William Hill, Streatfield Road, Harrow, on 23 November 2017 at 20:26hrs
6. Attempted robbery at Coral, Ballards Lane, Finchley, on 26 November 2017 at 18:58hrs
7. Robbery at Betfred, Kingsbury Road, Kingsbury, on 26 November 2017, at 19:25hrs
8. Robbery at Coral, High Road, Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, on 28 November 2017 at 19:30hrs.