Wed, 02 Oct 2019
Members of an organised crime network who were stopped by armed police in a pre-dawn raid in Hungerford have been jailed.
Armed officers swooped on the gang on December 13, 2018 just as they were about to strike the One Stop shop in Fairview Road.
Metropolitan Police officers observed three men travel from Brixton to Hungerford in a silver Vauxhall. The trio parked up and were seen observing the shop as it was about to open.
Officers apprehended Shane Wilson, Clleon Smith, and Ken Bernard at approximately 5am.
They were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery and taken into custody at a south London police station.
A black handgun was recovered from the vehicle, along with a balaclava worn by Wilson, a black rucksack and a knife.
Further investigation, including forensics and phone work, linked Joel Derriviere to the offences. He was arrested later that day at his home address.
All four men were charged on December 14, 2018.
NewburyToday reported at the time that officers had stood guard by a silver car with a shattered window in Fairview Road as children walked to nearby Hungerford Primary School.
One resident said they saw a man kneeling on the pavement, apparently under arrest, at around 6am and that several unmarked police vehicles were involved.
The paper had asked for more information at the time but was told by a spokesperson "this was a Met operation relating to robbery.
“That’s as much as I can tell you.”
Yesterday (October 1) the four men were sentenced to more than 70 years imprisonment at Isleworth Crown Court following an investigation led by the Met’s Flying Squad.
The court heard that the gang was responsible for a linked series of armed robberies across London and the south of England.
Between January and December 2018, the group were involved in 22 armed robberies and two attempted robberies. The gang targeted Co-Operative and One Stop stores, using knives and guns to threaten staff before tying them up and stealing large quantities of cash, tobacco and alcohol.
In addition to targeting stores in London and the south-east, the gang carried out raids in Bristol on April 16 and July 14, in Bicester on June 17, Rugby on November 4, Towcester on November 26 and Leighton Buzzard on December 9.
During their 12-month crime spree, the gang stole more than £100,000 in cash and alcohol and tobacco worth £15,000 from the stores.
Shane Wilson (pictured below), 40, of Solon New Road Estate, SW4 pleaded guilty on March 21 to 24 counts of conspiracy to commit robbery. He was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment.
Clleon Smith, 32, of London Road, Croydon pleaded guilty on March 15 to 11 counts of conspiracy to commit robbery. He was sentenced to 15 years and 10 months’ imprisonment.
Joel Rene Derriviere, 45, of Hicken Road, Lambeth SW2 pleaded guilty on April 1 to 10 counts of conspiracy to commit robbery. He was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment.
Samuel Kenneth Bernard, 56, of Gosling Way, SW9 was found guilty of six counts of conspiracy to commit robbery following a three-week long trial. He was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment.
Officers from the Met’s Flying Squad launched an investigation into the gang in October 2018. CCTV and surveillance enquiries linked the organised gang to 24 offences carried out across the year.
Investigating officer detective constable William Man said: “These prolific gang members terrified shop workers across the country in order to steal cash.
“They are dangerous individuals who threatened victims with knives and guns throughout their brazen crime spree.
“I hope the victims, and the wider public, feel reassured that these violent offenders have been taken off the streets and will now serve lengthy sentences behind bars.
"I also hope the sentences act as a deterrent to those involved in this type of criminality. We will continue to bear down on violent crime and we will work night and day to apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice.”
The presiding judge, HH Judge Holt, praised the victims, saying they were a credit to the companies they worked for. She added: “In extreme circumstances, the victims exhibited considerable fortitude and bravery.”