Member of prolific armed robbery gang sentenced

15 April 2011

Ian Patrick Joseph

A man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for his part in an armed robbery on a cash-in-transit van in Ipswich.

Ian Patrick Joseph, 38, unemployed of Mayfly Gardens, Northolt, was found guilty on 22 October 2010 of committing an armed robbery on a delivery to Lloyds TSB in Nacton Road, Ipswich in September 2007.

He was sentenced today (15 April) at Kingston Crown Court.

Joseph was recruited to carry out the robbery by members of a criminal network responsible for a string of robberies across the country.

The gang carried out 18 robberies and attempted robberies across the south of England between April 2006 and September 2007. They targeted cash-in-transit guards in offences as far apart as Bristol and Ipswich and stole approximately £500,000.

These culminated in the fatal shooting of two accomplices by police in Chandler's Ford in 2007.

Following a trial at Kingston Crown Court, seven men were sentenced for these offences on 3 November 2008.

Background:

On 3 November 2008 seven men were sentenced for their parts in a string of robberies that culminated in the fatal shooting of two accomplices by police in Chandler's Ford in 2007.

Terry Wallace and Adrian Johnson were sentenced to 17 years; Leroy Wilkinson to 12 years, Victor Iniodu to five years. They were found guilty in October 2008, following a trial at Kingston Crown Court.

The following pleaded guilty prior to the trial and were also sentenced. Brian Henry received six and a half years in prison, while Leon McKenzie and Leroy Hall received seven years.

They were all part of a criminal network organised by Mark Nunes - one of the two men who was fatally shot by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service on Thursday 13 September 2007.

The seven defendants were involved in a total of 18 robberies and attempted robberies across the south of England between April 2006 and September 2007. They targeted cash-in-transit guards in offences as far apart as Bristol and Ipswich and stole approximately £500,000.

A number of the robberies involved the use of guns. On one occasion a shot was discharged and during another two offences a gun was placed to a guard's head. A loaded 9mm handgun was recovered from the scene of the Chandlers Ford robbery.

Detective Inspector Terry Wilson, from the Metropolitan Police Service's Flying Squad, said: "This investigation demonstrates the ability of the Flying Squad to convict those responsible for armed robberies through professional investigations. The results do not though overshadow the fact that during the commission of one offence two men were fatally shot by police officers. The death of any person as a result of police action is deeply regrettable.

"We are a bespoke unit targeting those who commit these types of crimes. The fact we exist, along with today's sentences, should serve as a warning to all those who would consider committing such an offence.

"The fact that the majority of the offences have taken place outside of London did not limit our ability to investigate. Many of the defendants convicted had previously come to the attention of the Flying Squad and as a result chose to operate outside of London in an attempt to avoid attention.

"We have excellent working relationships with other forces and this partnership allowed us to pursue Nunes and his team across Southern England. The assistance of other constabularies, in particular Avon and Somerset and Hampshire, was essential in achieving success in this case."

He added: "I would also like the public to note that although these offences may be seen as 'victimless crimes' the truth is far from it. These offences not only left many of the guards traumatised, but also would have an impact on the people whose homes were burgled to steal the cars the robbers used."

Officers from the Met's Flying Squad identified Nunes as being involved in a number of robberies and began a pro-active investigation named Operation Hurlock.

Realising Nunes was involved in robberies outside London they worked with colleagues from Avon & Somerset, Hampshire, Thames Valley, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Wiltshire constabularies and identified the extent of the network's offences.

A wide range of tactics were employed by the Flying Squad to obtain evidence. This showed the defendants visiting a number of locations, predominantly banks on high streets, as they planned further offences.

The reconnaissance trips would often involve watching cash deliveries or collections, and researching escape routes. As part of the planning for the robberies the gang would steal cars, which would then be placed at strategic points along their escape route to avoid detection as they fled the scene.

Nunes' home would often be used as a meeting point for the gang before and after the reconnaissance trips and the robberies.

Following months of investigation, meticulous planning by Nunes and the number of offenders involved in the conspiracy, meant detectives had never been able to pin point the exact location or time of a planned offence.

However, in early September 2007 detectives identified a number of reconnaissance trips to Chandlers Ford, and an operation to counter a suspected robbery was put in place.

Nunes recruited Terry Wallace and a third man Andrew Markland, who was the second man fatally shot, to take part in the robbery. Following the attempted robbery Wallace fled the scene in a blue Volvo. He was subsequently arrested later the same day.

In accordance with existing protocols, the fatal police shooting was voluntarily referred to the IPCC for independent investigation, who have now completed their report. It is inappropriate for the MPS to comment any further on the events of that day.

In the months after the Chandlers Ford robbery a dedicated team of officers continued enquiries and identified further offences that were part of the wider conspiracy organised by Nunes. On the 21 November 2007 Iniodu, Johnson (Mason), Wilkinson, Hall, McKenzie and Henry were arrested.

To date the investigation has recovered approximately £150,000 in assets, two guns and nineteen rounds of ammunition. There will now be a full financial investigation using the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize the defendant's criminal assets.

Terry Wallace [11.12.81 - 26ys] Oakwood Road, SW20 was found guilty at Kingston CC of conspiracy to rob.

Adrian Johnson (aka Kurtis Mason) [5.7.80 - 28 ys] of Abbotts Park, SW2 was found guilty at Kingston CC of conspiracy to rob and a single charge of substantive robbery (see offence 19 on the list of offences)

Victor Iniodu [18.5.75 - 33 ys] of Bekesbourne Tower, Wichling Close, Orpington was found guilty at Kingston CC of conspiracy to rob.

Leroy Wilkinson [15.10.78 - 29ys] of Dartmouth Road, SE23 was found guilty at Kingston CC of conspiracy to rob.

Brian Henry [17.3.76 - 32 ys] of Gosling Way, SW9, Leon McKenzie [1.3.80 - 28 ys] of Major Close, SW9 and Leroy Hall [13.5.76 - 32 ys] of Babbington Road, SW16 all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob.

A full list of the offences follows.

1) Robbery 28th April 2006 - National Westminster Bank, Wells Road, Bristol.

At 11.32 two black men wearing blue overalls and fluorescent yellow tabards ran to the front and back of the security van. The guard was carrying a cash box from his van to the bank and one of the men grabbed the box while the second man put his arm around the guard's neck causing him to let go of the box.

The two men ran off with the box.

2) Armed Robbery - 23 May 2006 - G4S - Lloyds TSB, Lodge Causeway, Fishponds, Bristol

At 11.30 a robber wearing a fluorescent vest and cycling helmet knocked a cash-in-transit guard to the ground and pointed a revolver at him. He then dragged the guard to the rear of the van at gun point and demanded money be passed out. The guard was pistol whipped and bags were removed from the rear of the van. A second man assisted the first robber unload the bags.

3) Robbery - 5 October 2006 - HSBC, Denmark Hill London SE5

At 10.00 a cash in transit guard was standing outside the van holding a cash box when a man in a grey hooded top hit him on the back of the head with a heavy object.

A further man joined in and they were able to grab the box from the guard and run off with a third man who had been standing nearby. The men ran towards Orpheus Street and were seen to get into a small red Fiat Punto which drove off at speed.

4) Robbery - 8 November 2006 - HSBC, Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Surrey.

At 9.45 a cash in transit vehicle was making a delivery to the HSBC bank in Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsden. One man attacked the security guard who was holding a cash box at the rear of the van, during the struggle the guard threw the cash box into the face of the first robber who fell to the floor.

The robbers then grabbed hold of the guard and a struggle ensued. One of the robbers ripped the Guard s helmet from his head and the robbers were able to steal the cash box.


5) Robbery - 28 November 2006 - HSBC Parma House, Banbury Road, Oxford.

At 12.30 a cash-in-transit guard made deliveries to the bank and was returning to his van with an empty cash box. A man approached the guard, knocked him to the floor and stole the cash box. The suspect ran off with a second man along Banbury Road. They got into a maroon coloured saloon BMW parked on Lonsdale Road.

One of the offenders got into the drivers seat and drove down Lonsdale Road in the direction of Kings Cross Road.

6) Attempted Robbery - 8 December 2006 - National Westminster Bank, Wells Road, Bristol

At 11.35 an attempted robbery of a cash in transit guard was committed during a delivery to National Westminster Bank in Wells Road, Bristol. THE same location hit by the team on the 28 April 2006.

At around 10.10 witnesses saw two men standing in Wells Road and looking towards the bank.

At approximately 11.21 the guard was making his deliveries when two men ran towards him and in fear he dropped the cash box. One of the robbers grabbed the cash box, but members of the public assisted and managed to knock one of the robbers to the ground causing him to drop the box.

Both suspects escaped empty handed and made off in a dark coloured Ford KA, which was parked nearby and was being driven by white male. The Ford Ka was found abandoned by police in Cleeve Road.

7) Robbery - 12 December 2006 - HSBC, Fishponds Road, Bristol

At around 11.30 the guard was grabbed around the neck from behind and the robber stole the cash box. The robber fled to a maroon Saab driven by a second man. That Saab had been stolen on 4 November 2006.

The occupants of the Saab were seen to throw the cash box from the Saab shortly before it was abandoned near New Station Road

8) Armed Robbery - 12 December 2006 - HSBC, Cricklade Road, Swindon

A man approached the guard and demanded the cashbox and then punched him.

The robber, who was wearing cycling clothing dragged him to the back of the van and demanded more money from inside. He shouted to an accomplice who produced a gun. A member of the public tried to intervene but was shown the pistol and warned off.

The guard was punched to the floor and the men made off with a cash box and ran off down an alley to a tatty red Vauxhall Corsa

9) Robbery - 1 May 2007 - G4S - HSBC, School Road, Tilehurst, Reading

On the 1 May, less than 2 months after INIODU and NUNES were seen watching the same location, there was a robbery of the same bank at the same time.

Two men approached the guard, wrestled her to the ground and wrenched the cash box from her grasp. The robbers made off along an alley into a VW Golf, which was found abandoned nearby shortly after the robbery. It contained the cash box which was now empty.


10) Robbery 12 June 2007 Hucclecote Road, Gloucestershire

At around 09.30 a man approached the guard as he delivered to the HSBC in Hucclecote Road, Gloucester. He demanded the box that the guard was carrying and punched the guard.

There then followed a struggle during which the guard was punched to the body and a second man assisted the first in punching and kicking the guard. At this point the guard dropped the box and the men made off.

The men ran up an alleyway into Erminster Drive to a car, a silver/grey Saab Estate and drove off.

11) Robbery - 21 June 2007 - Lloyds TSB High Street, Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire.

At 13.45 two men approached a guard whilst he was delivering to the bank. He was punched and the robbers made off with a cash box.

The suspects made off in a blue Honda, stolen as a result of a residential burglary along with the car keys. The Honda was found abandoned at Cherry Hinton the next day. The empty cash box was discarded at the scene.

12) Robbery - 3 July 2007 - Lloyd TSB, St Christopher Road, Colchester, Essex.

At about 10.10 the van arrived in St Christopher s Road Colchester. As the guard made his delivery he was approached by two men. One was wearing dark clothing, the other approached initially on a cycle wearing bright or yellow top.

The man in the cyclist clothing demanded the box and produced a gun. The guard handed the cash box over and was then ushered toward the van. At that point he fought back, punching both the robbers and the gun was discharged though no one was hurt.

The two men ran off with the cash box and made off in a black Alfa Romeo

13) Robbery - 25 July 2007 - Lloyds TSB, Moorland Road, Bath. Avon.

The guard exited the van with the cashbox and saw two men running towards him. One of them shouted 'grab it' while the other punched him on the visor. The men took the cash box and made off to a waiting VW Golf in Maybrick Road.

The driver of the waiting Golf was later identified by a witness as being Terrence Wallace.

14) Robbery - 2 August 2007 - Lloyds TSB, High Street, Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire.

The cash-in-transit van arrived at the bank at about 1355 and as he made the delivery the guard was approached by a man who put him in a bear hug and demanded the box.

He repeatedly yanked at it eventually succeeding in obtaining it before making off. As he did so he dropped the box.

15) Robbery - 7 August 2007 - HSBC, School Road, Tilehurst, Reading.

At about 1045 a cash-in-transit van was making a delivery to the when the guard was rugby tackled as she went to the bank. There was a struggle and the robber escaped with the box. He dropped it then scooped up the contents and was seen to make off in a white Suzuki van.

The van was later found nearby with no damage to the door locks or ignition. The van was a stolen and had been used in the Colchester robbery on the 3rd July

16) Robbery - 28th August 2007 - G4S - Paperchase, St Georges Street, Winchester

At 12.54 a cash-in-transit van was making a delivery to Paperchase Winchester. The guard was approached by three men in a stolen black Audi A3. The vehicle had been stolen in Burglary in London on the 5 July.

One of the men opened the door of the Audi striking the guard on the knee. The guard, fearing for his safety handed over the cash box. The Audi drove off at speed

17) Armed Robbery - 7 September 2007 - G4S - Lloyds TSB, Nacton Road, Ipswich -

18) Armed Robbery - 13th September 2007 - G4S - HSBC 2 The Precinct, Chandlers Ford

In accordance with existing protocols, the fatal police shooting was voluntarily referred to the IPCC for independent investigation, who have now completed their report. It is inappropriate for the MPS to comment any further on the events of that day.

19) Robbery - 20 November 2007 - Lloyds TSB - St Christophers Road, Colchester

Johnson was involved in the robbery of a cash-in-transit guard at this location. Upon his arrest a shoe box containing £8,800 money stolen in this robbery was recovered.

NB: This offence was not considered part of the conspiracy and only relates to Johnson.