September 22 2014 Latest news:
Adam Barnett, Reporter
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
A man who held up a chemist with an imitation gun and tried to rob its safe has been jailed for more than nine years.
Jhosaim Chaudhury, 35, of Second Avenue, Manor Park, was sentenced today at Snaresbrook Crown Court to eight years in jail for conspiracy to rob, and two years for possession of the imitation gun, with the sentences running concurrently.
Chaudhury had a man on the inside - shop assistant Dewan Uddin, 35, from Ilford, who helped him and a third man, 22-year-old Rameez Malik, of Oakdale Road, Upton Park, gain access to the chemist through a back entrance.
Chaudhury and Malik entered the chemist in Station Road, Chingford, on December 8 at 3.45pm, and hid in a meeting room until the store closed.
They then emerged, threatening a female member of staff with what looked like a gun in a black plastic bag.
The men made her hand over keys to the safe and locked her in the meeting room, before threatening and detaining the store security guard in the same way.
Shop assistant Uddin shortly came downstairs from cashing up, and was seen on CCTV being confronted by Chaudhury and taken back upstairs to the safe, which he opened, and the weeks’ takings of £14,562 were put in a carrier bag.
Uddin was then taken downstairs and locked in the meeting room, before Chaudhury and Malik made off on foot.
MPS Flying Squad officers later discovered Uddin caught on CCTV entering and leaving the store several times without using the keypad and leaving the door unlocked.
An intelligence-led investigation found that Uddin was a known associate of Chaudhury, and that all three men had been in contact on the day of the robbery.
They all later pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook, where Uddin today was sentenced to six years and nine months in jail for conspiracy to rob.
Malik is due to be sentenced on October 1 at the same court for the same offence.
Detective Constable Shona Wilkinson, investigating officer from the MPS Flying Squad, said: “Through our investigations there were clear indications that Chaudhury and Malik had inside knowledge of the premises, and further research was able to connect all three to the robbery.”
She added: “Despite the gun being an imitation firearm, Uddin’s innocent co-workers were subjected to a frightening experience and I hope that these sentences serve as a comfort to them.”