Trio sentenced after M20 robbery and burglary

12 October 2016, 06:59 | Updated: 12 October 2016, 12:43

Trio sentenced after M20 robbery and burglary who fled at 130mph on M20 after raids in Kennington and Bearsted jailed.

Two men and a teenage boy have been jailed after they burgled five homes and then hijacked a car on the M20.

Francis Conners, 21, Michael Moorehouse, 28 and a 15-year-old boy were responsible for a crime spree which saw them target properties in Kent, Sussex and London.

On 13 June, 2016, the trio broke into homes including premises in Ryarsh Road, West Malling and Yeoman Lane, Bearsted.

They then attempted to flee Kent in a BMW, stolen from a previous burglary.

At around 3.45pm the car collided with a Vauxhall Astra on the London bound carriageway of the M20 motorway, between junctions 2 and 1. The BMW sustained damage which caused the offenders to abandon the vehicle.
Image 2 - Connors

When the driver of a third vehicle, a Honda Jazz, stopped at the scene to offer assistance he was punched and thrown to the floor by one of the offenders, before all three then stole his car and made off from the scene.

A Kent Police investigation led to the recovery of stolen items from the BMW.

Possessions including jewellery, watches and rare coins were matched to victims of burglaries on the same day of the collision.

Forensic evidence

Forensic tests led to the detection of both Moorehouse and Conners’ DNA in the vehicle. A sledgehammer in the boot also had paint on it which matched that of a stolen safe.

Further enquiries led detectives to the stolen Honda Jazz. This was located in a parking bay in Otford and blood stains inside provided more forensic evidence.

The investigation revealed that after leaving the Honda all three then boarded a train at Otford in the direction of London.

Close to the train station officers recovered a glove and baseball cap, which were found to contain DNA of the teenage boy.
Guilty pleas

On 12 July, the trio were arrested in the Essex area and the following day all charged and remanded in custody.

Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court they each pleaded guilty to counts of robbery and conspiracy to commit burglary.

Moorehouse also faced charges of dangerous driving and using a vehicle without third party insurance.

On 11 October Moorehouse, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 7 years and 4 months in prison.

Conners, formerly of Cherryfield Way, Dublin was sentenced to 6 years.

The teenage boy, from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, was sentenced to 2 years at a centre for juvenile offenders. 

Detective Constable Mark Howell said: ‘Moorehouse and Connors, along with their teenage accomplice were responsible for a mini crime wave, breaking into properties across the South East and causing long term distress and anxiety to their many victims.

‘They then left a trail of destruction on a motorway which could easily have had fatal consequences, before assaulting a man whose only intention had been to offer help and assistance.

‘I have no doubt had they managed to escape justice they would have gone on to commit further burglaries. Thankfully the amount of forensic evidence we have been able to gather has helped us to prove their guilt beyond any doubt and I hope the sentences passed today provide some comfort to all of the victims.’