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Armed robbers jailed for 12 years

PUBLISHED: 09:23 30 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:23 30 January 2015

Charlie Ricketts (left)  and Daniel John Pierce

Charlie Ricketts (left) and Daniel John Pierce

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Pair struck at bookmaker and bank in Bexley

TWO men have been jailed for more than 12 years after they committed two armed robberies in Bexley last year.

Daniel John Pierce, aged 20, of Granville Road, Sidcup, was sentenced to serve a total of seven years, three months’ imprisonment for two robberies, possession of an imitation firearm and shoplifting offences.

Charlie Ricketts, aged 19, of Downham Way, Bromley was sentenced to serve a total of five years, six months’ imprisonment for two robberies, possession of an imitation firearm and possession of a bladed article.

Both were sentenced at the Inner London Crown Court.

The pair was arrested on July 10, 2014, by detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad after they linked them to armed robberies at a bookmakers and a bank in Bexley.

The first incident happened on March 27, 2014, when two suspects robbed Lloyds bank in Nuxley Road, Belvedere.

The suspects entered the bank at around 4pm. One stood watch near the door, while the other approached a cashier, threatened him with a hand gun and demanded he hand over cash. The pair then made off with around £1,600.

On April 11, 2014, two suspects entered Jennings Bookmakers in Market Place, Bexleyheath. One of the suspects approached the cashier and placed a handgun on the counter before demanding the cashier hand over money, whilst the other stood near the door. The cashier refused and both suspects then made off from the shop together.

The following day, on April 12, Pierce and Ricketts were arrested in Sevenoaks by officers from Kent Police. The pair had attempted to steal perfume from the Boot’s store in Sevenoaks High Street, but they were stopped by the security guard who managed to recover the perfume before they made off.

They were followed on CCTV through the town and seen to discard a balaclava, a knife and a handgun in some bushes before police arrived and arrested them. Officers also recovered the balaclava, lock-knife and gun from where they had been hidden.

When the gun was examined it was found to be a starter-pistol, which had been spray-painted to disguise it from its original orange colour.

Pierce was charged with shoplifting and Ricketts was charged with possession of an imitation firearm in a public place and possession of a bladed article; both pleading guilty to the offences on September 29, 2014, at the Inner London Crown Court.

When detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad spoke to staff at Jennings bookmakers, officers were told that they recognised the suspects as previous customers. The officers made further enquiries at other local bookmakers in the area and identified Pierce as a potential suspect.

The officers were then alerted of Pierce’s arrest along with Ricketts in Sevenoaks. Enquiries into both the incidents in Bexley continued and both Pierce and Ricketts were later arrested on 10 July in connection with the two incidents.

Detectives pieced together evidence from CCTV footage at the bank and bookmakers, along with accounts from witnesses and exchanges between Ricketts and Pierce on their mobile phones where they discussed plans to commit robberies and talked about getting hold of a gun.

They were both charged on July 10, 2014, with attempted robbery, robbery and two counts of possession of an imitation firearm.

Ricketts pleaded guilty to the offences on December 19, 2014, and Pierce pleaded guilty to the offences on January 8.

Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Ellen from the Met’s Flying Squad said: “Thanks to the swift response of our police colleagues in Sevenoaks, coupled with the excellent work of detectives on the Flying Squad, we have been able to present an extremely strong case against Ricketts and Pierce, which left them with little other option than to plead guilty to the two robberies.

“Their activity showed signs that they were becoming increasingly bold in their offending and this sentence will ensure that two dangerous criminals will be off the streets for a considerable amount of time.”

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