Armed Robbers Jailed

28 February 2011, 16:20 | Updated: 8 March 2011, 11:34

A team of armed robbers have been sentenced to a total of 45 years in jail.

The five men, aged between 17 and 30, committed 40 offences across South London in a spell of just six weeks in 2009, targeting off-licenses, book makers, banks and pubs.

During the attacks, the gang used masks and balaclavas to disguise their appearance, brandished a handgun and threatened to kill staff if their demands for money were not met. To further intimidate their victims the gun would used to strike staff, with several people hospitalised in the attacks.

The robberies included The Falcoln pub in Clapham and the Queen's Arms in Wandsworth before they targeted Barclay's Bank in Crystal Palace.

Four defendants were arrested on 17 December 2009 immediately after committing an armed robbery at the NatWest Bank on Balham High Road, SW12.

Jacob Bernard was sentenced to 14 years for 11 robberies, while Earljay Walters was given 12 years, Francis Banya 10 years and Michael Lindo nine years.

Detective Chief Inspector Pam Mace from the Flying Squad at Barnes said: "These defendants were extremely violent young men who used firearms to enforce their demands and intimidate people who were just doing their jobs or going about their daily life.

"This series of violent robberies must have been terrifying for all the victims. This was an outstanding investigation which has resulted in a ruthless team of robbers being removed from the streets of South London."