Six men have been sentenced to a total of 22 years following an investigation by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) into commercial burglaries targeting companies around the UK.
One of the convicted men also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a class A drugs (heroin) and possession of criminal proceeds estimated to be just over £23,000.
All six men pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary and one count of attempted burglary. Three of the men appeared at Winchester Crown Court on 18 September 2015 and were sentenced as follows:
• Manuwa Amos, aged 42, of Bourne Mansion, Green Lanes, London was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment;
• Marcus Bell, aged 23, of Lever Street, Islington, London was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work;
• Michael Gayle, aged 26, of Wellington Road, Enfield was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, a Thinking Skills Order and a probation supervision order and 200 hours unpaid work.
Two of the men appeared at Winchester Crown Court on 12 October 2015 and were sentenced as follows:
• Raymond Hardinges, aged 42, of Bousfield Road, London was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, a probation supervision order and a drug rehabilitation requirement for six months;
• Tyrone Brown, aged 34, of Grosvenor Avenue, Highbury, London was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.
Yesterday (22/12) the last of the men appeared at Winchester Crown Court and was sentenced as follows:
• Leon Page, aged 36, of Darwin Rise, Kent, who pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary, possession with intent to supply class A drugs and possession of criminal proceeds and was sentenced to seven years and four months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay Crown Court costs of £900 and a victim surcharge of £120.
The investigation relates to burglaries which took place in Reading, Woking, Basingstoke, Chesterfield, Northwich and Kettering.
On 3 October 2013, Brown broke into Cisco Systems in Green Park, Reading and stole CISCO switches.
On 7 June 2014, Brown and Hardinges broke into Fidessa in Dukes Court, Woking and stole CISCO switches.
On 11 September 2014, Bell and Gayle attempted to break into Sony Europe in Jays Close, Basingstoke.
On 7 November 2014, Brown, Amos and Page broke into the Britannia House in Chesterfield but didn’t take anything.
On 8 November 2014, Brown, Amos and Page broke into Comms Care in Cheshire Business Park in Northwich, where they stole CISCO routers and switches.
On 9 November 2014, Brown, Amos and Page gained entry to RCI Europe Limited in Kettering and stole CISCO switches.
Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Jenny Olden, from SEROCU’s investigation team, said: “These convictions have come as a result of some excellent police work and a fine team effort.”
“During this investigation, it became clear that we were dealing with an organised crime group who were committing offences not just in the South East but across the UK.
“The gang targeted telecommunication companies and in particular CISCO equipment.
“This was a lengthy and complex operation by officers from across the South East region, who were supported throughout by officers from around the country. This collaborative working has led to the successful conviction of these men and the dismantling of this organised crime group, which should make the region and its surroundings a safer place to be.
“We will continue to do all we can to disrupt organised crime groups across the South East region and beyond, and the fact that six people have been sentenced today shows that if you are involved in criminality, no matter what part you play, you will face the full force of the law.”