Members of an organised crime group have been jailed for a total of more than 100 years after carrying out an armed robbery at a pub in Sutton.
The following were convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery following a five-week trial at Kingston Crown Court. They were sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, 13 August:
Dominic Barnaby-Thomas, 33 (7.8.1986) of Oakfield Road, SE20 was jailed for 18 years.
David Ansah, 28 (4.6.1991) of St James Road, CR0 was jailed for 18 years.
Joseph Barnaby, 31 (12.5.1988) of Lothian Road, SW9 was jailed for 16 years.
Henrya Buahin, known as Junaid Marfo, 34 (12.9.1984) of Montpelier Road, CR8 was also convicted of theft following the same trial. He was jailed for 18 years and received 18 months for the theft offence to run concurrently.
Michela Christina Zanelli 23 (12.1.1996) of Verulam Avenue, CR8 was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery following a re-trial in July 2019. She was jailed for nine years.
Michael McCleary, 33 (21.4.1986) of Upper Mulgrave Road, SM2, Ibrahim Sesay, 29 (19.2.1990) of Lothian Road, SW9 and Rhys Kassel Gayle, 25 (11.9.1993) of Wingate Crescent, CR0 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery at an earlier hearing. McCleary was jailed for nine years, while Sesay and Gayle were both jailed for twelve.
Gayle also pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in relation to a separate incident. He was jailed for a further four years to be served consecutively.
Police were called on 1 October 2017 to reports of an armed robbery at a pub on Cheam Common Road, Worcester Park, KT4.
Shortly after 22:00hrs a silver Vauxhall Astra pulled up outside the entrance and Sesay, Barnaby, Gayle, and Ansah exited.
All four defendants were wearing orange boiler suits, masks and gloves. Ansah was also seen carrying a rucksack and a handgun.
They rushed into the venue and forced eight people inside into the back office.
They lined the victims up against a wall and forced them to kneel, repeatedly threatening them with a kitchen knife and firearm – at one point holding the firearm to the head of one victim.
The group demanded money from the tills and office and stopped all CCTV recording. During the incident one of the victims was stabbed in the thigh.
Shortly after 22:10hrs two of the victims were released from the office, but the remaining six were locked inside while the suspects continued searching for cash.
The group found a large safe in the hallway of an upstairs bedsit and dragged it to their getaway vehicle outside. They unsuccessfully attempted to put it in the boot and fled, leaving the safe outside the front of the venue.
Detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad launched an investigation into the armed robbery.
Throughout the course of the investigation they discovered the two individuals released from the office by the robbers were actually Zanelli and Buahin, who were complicit in the robbery.
The pair arrived at the venue ten minutes before the robbery purporting to be customers, but were in fact look-outs for the rest of the group.
They remained in phone contact with the other defendants until their arrival inside the venue.
Detectives identified McCleary to be the supplier of the vehicle and Barnaby-Thomas as the organiser – both were outside the venue while the robbery took place.
Detectives further identified Ansah as the holder of the firearm and Sesay as the driver and enforcer along with Gayle.
Forensic work carried out at the venue, and examination of CCTV, led officers to McCleary, Zanelli, and Barnaby. Further phone examinations then led them to the remaining suspects.
The firearm and knife used in the robbery were not recovered.
Detective Constable Will Man from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This offence was conducted by an organised criminal gang who were prepared to use weapons in order to enforce their demands.
“They targeted both staff and customers in the premises with a firearm and a knife. They had no regard for any member of the public’s safety or welfare and carried out these violent actions solely in order to steal cash to fund their own lifestyle.
“The hard work and relentless enquiries carried out by Flying Squad detectives have ensured that all those responsible have been brought to justice. The serious nature of this offence has been reflected in the sentencing imposed by the court. I hope this offers reassurance to not only the victims of this crime but also the community as a whole that we will continue to pursue and apprehend such violent criminals.
“I would like to sincerely thank the victims for their full support in bringing this case to trial.”