Kent

Sevenoaks: Fake police car gang jailed for gunpoint raid

Ambulance disguised as police car Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption A former ambulance was disguised as a police car

Gang members who travelled in a fake police car to a family home that they held up at gunpoint have been jailed.

Four masked men, and a fifth wearing a police uniform and fluorescent jacket, took part in the raid at a home in Sevenoaks, Kent, in May 2017.

One of the victims managed to activate a panic alarm to alert police and the group of men left empty-handed.

Three of the four defendants were sentenced by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court.

The raid began when an ambulance car disguised as a police car pulled up at the house on 1 May 2017. A man in a high-visibility jacket then introduced himself via the intercom as a police officer.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Four men made their way into the house through a hole in the fence

The four men, one armed with what appeared to be a sawn-off shotgun, then made their way into the house.

A male victim was forced to the floor, but his wife activated a panic alarm.

The Skoda Octavia ambulance used in the raid was later found burnt out in Nottinghamshire.

Nicholas Hamill, 35, and Joseph Mezen, 28, both from Herne Bay, were found guilty of conspiracy to rob and possession of an imitation firearm.

John Moys, 45, from Canterbury, pleaded guilty to the same charges. Ronnie Mead, 30, from Dover, admitted assisting an offender in relation to the disposal of the vehicle.

Hamill, of Carlton Hill, was sentenced to 14-and-a-half years in prison while Mezen, of Town Court Close, was jailed for 14 years with a further three years on licence. Mead, of Randolph Road, was jailed for two years and 10 months.

Moys, of Old Tree, Hoath, will be sentenced at a later date.

Malcolm Maxted, 45, of Daiglen Drive, South Ockendon, Essex, was cleared of conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.

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