Schoolboy jailed for armed robberies

10 November 2012

Miles Alura - jailed for five years.

A schoolboy who wore a sophisticated prosthetic disguise to commit violent armed robberies has been sentenced.

Miles Alura, 16 (9/8/96) of Camden Road NW1 was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court to a total of 5 years' imprisonment, and was one of three teenagers sentenced at the court today (9 November).

"The very fact that the offenders are only of school age is harrowing."

Alongside him was 'Boy A' (16 ys) of Stoke Newington N16, and 'Boy B' (15 ys) of Holloway N7. They were sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment, and a 12 month detention and training order, respectively.

Reporting restrictions were lifted in respect of Alura, but not in respect of the other two defendants.

All three defendants had earlier pleaded guilty at Kingston Crown Court to conspiracy to rob relating to a robbery on 3 July in Kent; Alura and 'Boy B' had pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm regarding that robbery; Alura and 'Boy A' had pleaded guilty to robbery on 7 June in Mayfair.

On 3 July Alura and 'Boy B' committed an armed robbery at a jewellers in Longfield, Kent. During this robbery Alura used facial prosthetics, make-up and a hair piece to disguise himself as an elderly man.

Once they had gained access to the shop Alura produced two handguns and threatened staff. Handcuffs and a dog lead were used to tie-up the terrified workers and their dog, before jewellery worth over £50,000 was stolen.

A quick thinking member of the public called the police and Alura was arrested by officers in a nearby garden in which the two guns and parts of his disguise were also found. A bag containing the stolen jewellery was found dumped near the shop.

'Boy B' was arrested having run some three miles in fields during which he had discarded most of his outer clothing.

Enquiries made by detectives from the Met's Flying Squad linked this robbery to an earlier robbery committed on 7 June at a jewellers in Mayfair, central London by Alura and 'Boy A'.

The boys entered the store on the pretext of discussing custom jewellery but instead jumped over the counter and threatened the staff with violence, intimating they had a gun. Workers were tied up and the pair escaped with jewellery to the value of £100,000. On this occasion Alura was wearing false waist-length dreadlocks.

Fingerprints belonging to them both were found on paperwork - including school history coursework, and a drawing of the plan of the store - left at the scene.

Over the course of the investigation it was established that 'Boy A' had accompanied Alura to Kent to scope out the store and plan the robbery. As a result of this he was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Alura was sentenced to 5 years for conspiracy to rob relating to the robbery on 3 July;
two and a half years for the possession of an imitation firearm regarding that robbery; and 5 years for robbery on 7 June in Mayfair.

All sentences to run concurrently.

'Boy B' was sentenced to a 12 month detention and training order for conspiracy to rob relating to the robbery on 3 July, and possession of an imitation firearm regarding that robbery.

'Boy A' was sentenced to 3 years for conspiracy to rob relating to the robbery on 3 July, and the robbery on 7 June.

DC Vicky Bailey, Flying Squad, said: "These were violent armed robberies during which innocent members of staff were terrorised and genuinely feared for their lives. It is even more shocking to know that this level of violence was inflicted by three school boys who went to extraordinary lengths to research, plan and getaway with these offences demonstrated by Alura's sophisticated disguise. These young men now face considerable terms of imprisonment where they will have plenty of time to think about the consequences of their actions."

DC Angela Costin from Kent Police said: "These are horrific crimes and have, as DC Bailey said, caused significant distress for the victims, not only in the short term but probably for the rest of their lives.

"The very fact that the offenders are only of school age is harrowing and it is concerning to think that they have committed such heinous crimes with such conviction. The sentences imposed will take these boys in to adulthood and will give them time to reflect, however it will more importantly provide a sense of justice and safety to their victims who are still coming to terms with what these boys subjected them to."