London

Foiled Piccadilly armed 'smash and grab' moped gang sentenced

Charlie Kavanagh, Johnny Kyriacou, Stephen Hopkins and Stephen Hopkins Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Clockwise from top left, Charlie Kavanagh, Johnny Kyriacou, Stephen Hopkins and Stephen Hopkins, were given jail sentences of up to 14 years

Four members of an armed moped gang intercepted during the attempted robbery of a watch shop have been jailed.

The gang, armed with knives and an axe, targeted the luxury store in Piccadilly, west London on 3 August.

But police intercepted the gang at 11:25 BST following a tip-off to the Met's flying squad, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.

The gang caused more than £100,000 of damage to the shop.

Four Met officers were injured.

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Media captionArmed gang

The court heard the men drove stolen mopeds dangerously, mounting pavements and going up one way streets on their way to the shop.

"Terrified" members of the public saw visible weapons sticking out from their clothing and called the police, the court was told.

Image caption Police intercepted the armed moped gang in Piccadilly,

All four men were wearing balaclavas and full faced motorbike helmets.

Sentencing, judge Sally Cahill QC said: "In my view this was a professionally-planned commercial robbery."

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Members of the gang used an axe in the failed raid on luxury watch shop

Charlie Kavanagh 26, from Islington, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 13-and-a-half years.

He will have to serve a minimum of six years and nine months before he can be considered for parole. He was also disqualified from driving for 10 years.

Kavanagh's life sentence took into consideration his 17 previous criminal convictions and the fact he drove his moped at a police officer, leaving him with potentially life-changing injuries.

Stephen Hopkins 30, of no fixed address, and Stephen Hopkins 29, from Islington, were each jailed for 14 years and six months.

Image copyright Thomas Crown
Image caption Piccadilly was closed for about six hours

Johnny Kyriacou, 25, from Islington, was sentenced to 10 years and six months.

All four men had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob at an earlier hearing.

Kavanagh also pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and Hopkins admitted an additional charge of unlawful wounding.

Det Con Mike Bunn, who was one of the officers hurt during the foiled robbery, told BBC London: "I feel the sentences were very fair considering the danger posed to the public and the injuries sustained by my colleagues."

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