Members of an organised crime group have been jailed for more than 100 years after carrying out an armed robbery at a pub in Sutton.
The eight gang members were all convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery after “violent actions” targeted staff and customers.
The gang busted into the pub, which cannot be named, in Cheam Common Road, Worcester Park on October 1, 2017, with a knife and a gun before they forced eight people into a back office.
Those in the pub were lined up against a wall and forced to kneel – one had a gun pointed at their head and another was stabbed in the thigh.
Four of the eight gang members – Ibrahim Sesay, 29 and Joseph Barnaby, 31, of Lothian Road, Rhys Kassel Gayle, 25, of Wingate Crescent and David Ansah, 28, of St James Road – were in the pub and wearing orange boiler suits, masks and gloves demanded money from the tills and office and stopped all CCTV recording.
Shortly after 10pm, two of the victims were released from the office but the remaining six were locked inside while the suspects continued searching for cash.
But the two individuals released from the office by the robbers were actually Michela Christina Zanelli, 23, of Verulam Avenue, and Henrya Buahin, 34 of Montpelier Road, who were members of the gang.
The pair had arrived at the pub ten minutes before the robbery pretending to be customers, but were in fact look-outs for the rest of the group.
They were in phone contact with the other gang members until their arrival inside the pub.
The gang 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 identified Michael McCleary, 33, of Upper Mulgrave Road, to be the supplier of the silver Vauxhall Astra used in the robbery and Dominic Barnaby-Thomas, 33, of Oakfield Road, as the organiser of the robbery – both were outside the venue while the robbery took place.
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 enquries 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.”