A man who carried out a series of robberies in London has been jailed.
Henley Stephenson, 41, of Great Peter Street SW1 was on 1st June 2012 sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court to a total of 14 years’ imprisonment for 20 counts of robbery and five counts of possessing a firearm.
Two accomplices were also sentenced alongside Stephenson. Leon Topper, 22, of Gosforth Lane, Watford, Herts, was sentenced to a total of eight years’ imprisonment for two counts of robbery and two counts of possessing a firearm.
Dean Williams, 26, of Peabody Buildings, Dufferin Street EC1, was sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment for robbery and possessing a firearm.
Stephenson had pleaded guilty to the offences during a hearing on 21st November 2011 while Topper and Williams entered guilty pleas at the start of a trial on 18th April 2012.
Detective Chief Inspector Harry Hennigan, of the Finchley Flying Squad, said: “Stephenson executed these crimes in a calculated and frightening manner with no regard for innocent members of the public. His measures were so extreme; he tried to deceive the police by concealing his identity by wearing a lifelike latex mask which completely altered his skin colour and appearance. Stephenson also fired a gun in front of terrified members of the public, who scrambled for cover during a betting shop robbery.”
The gang-of-three were arrested at around 15:45hrs on 26 July 2011, as they targeted a cash in transit security guard outside Curry’s in Staples Corner. They had been laying in wait inside a blue Vauxhall Zafira – with false number plates – for the guard to leave the superstore with a cash box. Once the guard left the premises, Stephenson and Williams got out of the car and confronted him.
Stephenson, who was wearing a high visibility orange jacket, then pointed a semi-automatic pistol at the guard whilst shouting for the cash box. Williams snatched the cash box containing £19,800, and ran to their parked car which was being driven by Topper.
Detectives from the Finchley Flying Squad immediately arrested all three men at the scene, and the cash box was recovered.