Kent

Kent travellers' site raid saw 'extreme' violence

Top row (L-R): Darren Myers, Aaron Mayers, Nana Danquah, Lee George Baker, Nyake Alieu, Jake Jenks, Conner Miller. Bottom row: Ahmed Ali, Brady Dewson, John Smillie, Faisal Issah, Jheryl Long, Glenn Kenny, Junior Tamakloe Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Top row (L-R): Darren Myers, Aaron Mayers, Nana Danquah, Lee George Baker, Nyake Alieu, Jake Jenks, Conner Miller. Bottom row (L-R): Ahmed Ali, Brady Dewson, John Smillie, Faisal Issah, Jheryl Long, Glenn Kenny, Junior Tamakloe

A robbery at a travellers' site saw three families subjected to such extreme violence they feared for their lives, Kent Police has said.

Seventeen were charged over the Lenham robbery on 26 April 2016 - 10 were convicted and four admitted offences.

After the last defendant was jailed on Monday, police said the victims faced a "terrifying" ordeal.

Det Insp James Derham said they were assaulted and threatened with firearms and baseball bats in front of children.

Following the last sentencing hearing at Maidstone Crown Court he said the robbers - all dressed in black and wearing balaclavas, dust masks and bandanas - got into three homes in Forstal Road at about 23:00.

The occupants were threatened with shotguns, handguns, crowbars and baseball bats during a prolonged attack, he said.

Four victims had their wrists bound with cable ties and a fifth was stabbed in the arm and leg and suffered a fractured skull while trying to stop the offenders getting into his property, where his wife and young children were hiding.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Long, Smillie and Ali were filmed on CCTV purchasing equipment from a hardware store
Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption A knife and a crowbar were found at the scene

Police said the assaults ended once the offenders had found cash and a designer handbag - they then left the victims tied up.

Det Insp Derham said: "These men subjected three families to extreme levels of violence which left them in fear that they would be killed.

"The ordeals the victims were subjected to were terrifying and it has taken a huge amount of courage to speak out against these men."

The gang and their sentences:

  • Darren Myers, 33 of Valley Road, Tunbridge Wells was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a disguised firearm. He was jailed for 23 years, reduced to 21 years following an appeal.
  • Aaron Mayers, 33 of Wick Road, South Hackney, was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and jailed for 20 years, reduced to 16 years following an appeal.
  • Nana Danquah, 33 of The Shrublands, Potters Bar, was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and jailed for 20 years, reduced to 18 years following an appeal.
  • Lee George Baker, 29 of Hoad Road, Eastbourne, was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and jailed for 20 years, reduced to 12 years following an appeal.
  • Nyake Alieu, 31, of Church Street, Seaford, was convicted of conspiracy to rob and jailed for 20 years, reduced to 16 years following an appeal.
  • Jake Jenks, 25 of Allan Close, Tunbridge Wells was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and received a 16 and a half year sentence, reduced to 14 years following an appeal.
  • Conner Miller, 22, of no fixed address, was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and received a 16 year sentence, reduced to 13 years following an appeal.
  • Ahmed Ali, 23, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and received a 13 year sentence.
  • Brady Dewson, 26, of Latimer Road, Eastbourne pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and was jailed for 12 years.
  • John Smillie, 26, of Billet Road in Walthamstow, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and sentenced to 16 years, reduced to 14 years following an appeal. He was found not guilty of having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.
  • Faisal Issah, 24, of High Road in Tottenham, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, reduced to 14 years following an appeal. He was found not guilty of having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.
  • Jheryl Long, 24, of High Road, Tottenham, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and sentenced to 17 years imprisonment. He was found not guilty of having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.
  • Glenn Kenny, 26, of Poppy Way in Leiston, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. He was sentenced to 10 years and eight months imprisonment, reduced to nine years and four months following an appeal.
  • Junior Tamakloe, 34, of no fixed address, the final defendant for this offence, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to 13 and a half years on Monday.

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