A man has been sentenced to more than 15 years imprisonment in connection with a series of knife-point robberies in East London.
Between 10 August and 29 October 2011, police received reports of a series of knife-point robberies at a wine merchant and hotel in the E14 area of Tower Hamlets. They were linked by police and allocated to the Robbery Squad for investigation.
During the first offence, the suspect entered a Wine Warehouse on Blackwall Way, E14 and stole some drink. He returned a short time later, showed a knife to staff and demanded money from the till and safe. On that occasion around £1,500 was stolen. The same premises were targeted again on 7 October 2011 when £250 was taken.
On 29 September 2011 the same suspect entered a hotel in Baffin Way, E14, showed a knife and made off with £200 in cash. The same premises was targeted again on 29 October 2011, when £50 was stolen. On that occasion prompt action by local police led to the arrest of the suspect nearby and within 40 minutes, based on the description given by the victims of the robbery.
Once in custody he was quickly linked with other offences based on CCTV evidence and identification procedures. The suspect was identified as Robert Vaughan, 25 (7.04.86) of Waverton House, E3. He was charged and kept in custody.
Vaughan was charged and appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday 26 January where he pleaded guilty to all nine offences listed below:
- Robbery and Possession of a bladed instrument on 10th August at Wine Warehouse
- Robbery and Possession of a bladed instrument on 30th September at the Hotel
- Robbery and Possession of a bladed instrument on 7th October at the Wine Warehouse
- Robbery and Possession of a bladed instrument at the Hotel on 29th October.
On Thursday 23 February at Snaresbrook Crown Court Vaughan was sentenced to a total of 17 years and 10 months. For the theft he received six months; each robbery resulted in three years and four months; and possession of a bladed article - 12 months. The sentences will run concurrently.
Following sentence, Detective Constable Gary Rowlands, from Tower Hamlets CID, said, "This was a nasty series of robberies and goes to show that anybody who carries a knife for criminal purposes risks being caught and prosecuted."