Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Cemetary Carjacking Couple Caught

A ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ carjacking couple – who struck while victims were paying their respects to loved ones at two East London cemeteries – have been locked-up for their £250k crime spree.

Frankie Pellicci, 31, of Victoria Avenue, Collier Row and her boyfriend of eleven years Frank Brooks, 29, of Monk Drive, Canning Town targeted the elderly during an eight-month period last year.

Twenty cars – including a Range Rover Sport and Mercedes E-Class – worth £250,000 included five attacks on elderly motorists at Barkingside and Chigwell cemeteries.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court Brooks received ten years imprisonment and Pellicci a two year suspended sentence for conspiring to steal vehicles.

On five occasions Books approached and distracted drivers visiting and tending to the graves of loved ones.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Ian Evans of the Metropolitan Police’s Crime Squad, said: “Brooks and Pellicci shamelessly conspired to force drivers from their cars and steal what was very often their only form of transport.

“Brooks deliberately targeted vulnerable people, usually pensioners, to ensure he could make a quick escape.

“Pellicci knew of his plans and assisted him, both at the scene and during the sale of the vehicles.

“Their victims were left extremely shaken and Brooks became more violent in his approach and one occasion, an elderly man was left with a broken pelvis after a robbery in Chigwell.

“We hope that this result today brings some closure for the victims and sends out a clear message to anyone thinking of carrying out such a crime. We will build a picture of your offending and you will be caught.”

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Broke Businessman Up To Old Tricks Jury Told

A notorious bankrupt rogue trader – jailed and banned from running any business – plunged his new partners and suppliers into debt after illegally setting-up two companies on his release, a court heard today.

Royston Rees, 61, (pictured) of Glanmor Road, Llanelli, South Wales was a “shadow partner” in the businesses, hiding behind other named directors who were registered with Companies House.

He has pleaded not guilty at Croydon Crown Court to contravening a company director disqualification order between July 12 2005 and October 31 by running Kay’s Pantry Ltd. and R & W Distribution Ltd., which was registered on November 22 2007.

His ex-girlfriend Kay Meadows, 67, of Hensworth Road, Ashford, Middlesex denies aiding and abetting Rees to contravene the order in relation to Kay’s Pantry Ltd.

Prosecutor Mr. Edmund Burge told the jury Rees, who was made bankrupt in 1986, 1992 and 1998, was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court in January 2001 for illegally running a business when banned and disqualified for another seven years.

“These two counts represent two occasions Rees deliberately broke the rules in relation to him running a company.

“The rules are there to offer protection from unscrupulous or incompetent people.”

Kay’s Pantry was a food distribution company registered on July 12 2005 with Meadows and butcher Barry Fleet the named directors, but secretly run by Rees, say the prosecution.

“Rees found the customers, found the suppliers and negotiated the contracts and did all the talking on the company’s behalf at various meetings,” said Mr. Burge.

“The company began failing and many of the suppliers were owed money and Rees was increasingly evasive and wrote cheques to them that bounced.”

In January 2006 Barry Fleet quit, but was liable for debts of £10,000 and continuing payments on a delivery van.

“Rees was a shadow director running the business from the background and was careful not to be formally appointed, but was the directing will and mind of the company,” added Mr. Burge.

“Meadows knew in 2001 Rees was bankrupt and facing charges of being involved in the management of a company.

“She knew he should not be running a company, but helped him do it by being involved as a company director and leaving him with the day to day running of the business.

“In 2006 the couple split-up and Rees returned to his native south Wales and set up R & W Distribution, a fashion accessories company, with John Wood.

“Mr. Wood and his wife were the named directors, but Rees was the driving force and public face of that company.

“Again he failed to pay suppliers and there were disagreements within the company about allocation of the stock.

“He is an incompetent trader who cost his business partners and suppliers thousands of pounds and left them bearing the debts.”

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Lying Tax Civil Servant's £118K Work And Benefit Swindle

A Ghanaian immigrant employed by HM Revenue and Customs dodged prison today for a £118,000 fraud on her employer and the benefit system.

Administrator Daisy Adu-Gyamfi, 32, lied to her employers and the Department of Work and Pensions to obtain working tax credit and child benefit payments supported by forged invoices.

The mother-of-two arrived in the UK on a student visa in September 1998, which she renewed and also successfully applied for work holiday visas until given indefinite leave to remain in November 2008.

Adu-Gyamfi, of Homestead Way, New Addington pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court (pictured) to obtaining a pecuniary advantage, namely employment with HM Customs and Revenue (HMRC) and wages of £70,615 between June 2002 and December, last year.

She also pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud totalling £44,000 between September 2005 and April 2010, namely falsely claiming working tax credits by failing to declare she lived with her husband Sebastian.

She further admitted fraud relating to child benefit payments of £4,000 between July 2005 and November 2008 in which she furnished bogus nursery care invoices even though her aunt was baby-sitting the children.

Prosecutor Mr. Andrew Adams told the court Adu-Gyamfi told HMRC she was British-born and not subject to immigration controls when landing the corporation tax department job at Southern House, Wellesley Grove, Croydon in 2002.

She even provided her manager with a Ghanaian driving licence as proof of identity, but this did not prompt any investigation into her status.

Meanwhile, Adu-Gyamfi was falsely pocketing tax credit payments as a single-mum while living with her husband, with the money paid into their joint bank account.

The couple also run a charity 'Bloom Trust International' which pumps money into a Ghanaian orphanage and the construction of clean water wells.

"She also submitted false invoices purporting to show she paid nurseries far in excess of what she was paying," added Mr. Adams.

Adu-Gyamfi continued claiming nursery expenses after quitting work and looking after the children herself.

Her lawyer Mr. Steve Akinsanya told the court: "When she arrived here her intentions were honest and straightforward and she has a very good work record.

"This is a young woman who has made a series of grave mistakes and just being involved in these proceedings has taught her a salutary lesson."

Adu-Gyamfi, who has a degree in human resources from Hertfordshire University, has repaid £37,000, which was provided by her father.

"These were direct assaults on the benefits system," the Recorder of Croydon Warwick McKinnon told the first-time offender.

"You obtained tax credits when you were not entitled and provided false invoices in support and omitted to inform the authorities you withdrew your children from care.

"On the one hand you are a fraudster and on the other a valuable member of society based on these charitable works."

She was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to perform 200 hours community service.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

DJ Stabbed To Death: Killer Accomplice Convicted

A young thug who was in a gang that attacked a popular South London DJ – fatally stabbed in the heart after a nightclub set – has been convicted of manslaughter.

Carl Beatson Asiedu, 19, (pictured) died in the back seat of a friend’s car as open-heart surgery was performed in a desperate bid by an emergency medical team to save his life.

Carl has just performed at Club Life, Goding Street, Kennington as part of an urban event on August 1, 2009 and was walking with a friend to their vehicle when the pal began arguing with a young male in the eleven-strong group.

One of the gang, 21 year-old Junior Ademujimi-Falade, of Landor House, Elmington Estate, Camberwell was convicted of manslaughter at the Old Bailey and will be sentenced on December 2.

Carl - aka DJ Charmz – collapsed in the street after one of the group stabbed him and he was rushed to hospital in the back of a friend’s car.

Police stopped the convoy of speeding cars and raised the alarm, but doctors in the air ambulance could not save Carl, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The knifeman is still wanted by police and an investigation into him continues.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Dodgy Driving Traps Nigerian Overstayer

A Nigerian overstayter, who remained undetected in the UK for twenty-four years, was finally caught after motorway cops found a forged driving licence in his pocket when he was stopped on the M1.

Paul Onifade, 48, was jailed for three months at Wood Green Crown Court (pictured) yesterday and now it is up to the Home Office whether they wish to deport him.

He pleaded guilty to being in possession of a false identity document, namely a UK driving licence, on February 9, 2007 in north London.

Onifade skipped police bail and failed to return to the station while checks into the bogus licence were made, but was caught again on October 16 this year when police pulled him over for erratically driving his van.

Charges of driving without insurance and not in accordance with a driving licence were dropped under the six-month time limit.

Onifade was originally arrested four years ago because he was driving very slowly one Sunday morning down the M1 motorway.

When searched officers found the forged driving licence, which bore the defendant's name and photograph.

Onifade's lawyer told the court: "His presence has not had a negative impact on the society around him."

The defendant was also disqualified from driving for twelve months.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Shamed Cop Jailed For Charity Cash Fraud

A disgraced female detective who defrauded a police children's charity, which raised funds for crime victims, out of at least £26,000 was jailed for nine months today.

Ex-Detective Sergeant Louise Ord, 42, who was sacked by City of London Police in February, last year controlled the force's charity Child Victims of Crime.

Ord, of Harwich Road, Colchester, Essex, who worked with sexual abuse victims, was a nominated signature on cheque's paid on the charity's behalf and sat on it's committee.

She pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court (pictured) to one count of fraud in that between January 16, 2007 and April 6, 2009, dishonestly, with intent to gain, or expose others to the risk of loss abused her position of trust as a police officer and committee member by taking monies.

Alcoholic Ord, who has an eleven year-old daughter with her ex-husband - a Royal Protection Police Officer - has made "serious attempts at suicide" the court was told.

Prosecutor Miss Claire Howell told the court: "The defence has always maintained she intended to repay the money, but the prosecution say she did not have anything like the money she had taken."

The prosecution confirmed Ord paid £26,000 into her bank account, but the charity's total losses were £46,500.

"She was regularly taking money out an deposited a lesser figure in her account," explained Miss Howell. "She was clearly keeping some of that cash for herself."

Ord organised a charity dinner and did pay for a band and speaker in a fund-raising function sponsored by major banks and companies.

"The defendant has insisted throughout her disciplinary hearing and interviews that she had made repayments to the charity during the time the offences were committed," said Miss Howell.

"She offered to show the police through her bank statements, but after a suicide attempt her solicitor gave her advice and from then on she answered all questions: 'No comment.'

"There is no evidence on the bank accounts, no evidence whatsoever that she paid money back to the charity before or after her arrest."

The charity was founded in 1994 to support children whose lives had been affected by crime following the 1993 IRA bombing of Warrington, which killed 12 year-old Tim Parry.

Patrons of the charity include Crimewatch presenter Fiona Bruce and former England rugby star Dean Richards - himself a police officer.

Money raised is used to pay for care and equipment required by children who fall victim to crime, and to send them on holidays.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Battersea Murder: Two Men Charged

Two men have been charged with the midnight murder of a man in South-West London, who suffered fatal head injuries during an incident with a number of suspects.
Richard Ward, 37, from Battersea (pictured) was killed in Severus Road, near the junction with St. John’s Hill on November 7.
Police were alerted at 11.45pm to a man injured at the scene and he was pronounced dead soon afterwards.
A post-mortem at St George’s Mortuary gave the cause of death as head 
Cameron McFly, 37, and Danny Samuel, 35, both of Herlwyn Gardens, Hebdon Road, Tooting have appeared in custody at Greenwich Magistrates’ Court charged with murder.
Police believe Mr. Ward may been assaulted by a number of suspects and left seriously injured.

An incident room was opened under Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command who said: “We would like to hear from anyone who was in the area of Severus Road and St John's Hill between 22:00hrs and midnight.
“Local people may have seen or heard something that could help the investigation. 

Wandsworth Borough Commander Gerry Campbell said: “We will not tolerate violence against any person and are aware of the impact this violence can have on our communities.
“Our priority is to bring to justice those responsible for this attack and to prevent any further incidents from occurring.
“Wandsworth borough police will be fully supporting this murder investigation working closely with detectives and reassuring our local communities.”

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Violent Bully-Boy Jailed For Hitting Woman

This is the thug who punched a young woman in the face as she sat in her car outside a North London police station on her way to report a crime.

Christopher McFayden, 44, of Bideford Road, Ruislip was sentenced to seven months imprisonment for causing actual bodily harm to the 21 year-old on June 21.

Wood Green Crown Court heard it was noon when the defendant – who knew the victim – approached her car outside Colindale police station.

McFayden punched the young woman on the face, leaving her bruised and swollen, and made off.

The victim, who was with her sister, was taken to hospital and treated for her facial injuries.

Police circulated a description of McFayden and a patrolling PCSO spotted and followed him until officers arrived to make the arrest. 

Detective Constable Laxmi Kotecha said: ”It is hard to imagine a more cowardly attack.

“McFayden picked on someone who could not defend themselves.

“The victim was left shocked and traumatised by the attack and I must pay tribute to the bravery of the victim and her sister for their courage in helping to bring McFayden to justice.”

McFayden was also ordered to pay £660 compensation to the victim.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Bike Bandit's £700K Bank Bid

City of London police have released this CCTV image of a suspected armed robber who demanded £700,000 from busy bank minutes before it was due to close.

The suspect threatened a member of staff with a gun at Halifax, Cheapside on Saturday October 22 at 12.50pm, but fled empty-handed on a stolen bicycle when security shutters were activated.

The man is described as white, 5'10, stocky build, aged late 20s to late 30s, unshaven with dark hair.

He was wearing dark trousers and top, with a chequered flat cap.

Detective Inspector Lee Bowen said: “This is a serious crime, the type of which is rare in the City, and we'd urge anyone who might be able to help us with our enquiries to get in touch.”

Witnesses can call City of London Police on 0207 601 2222 or Crimestoppers anonymously.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Crazed Axeman Detained For Horror Park Attack

A deranged nightime axeman, who sneaked up on his unsuspecting victim as he sat on a park bench - plunging the weapon into the man’s head – has been locked-up indefinitely.

Thomas O’Connell, 26, (pictured) of Green Lanes, Haringey almost killed the victim who continues to recover from severe head injuries, which have left him unable to use his right arm or walk properly and with severe memory loss.

The defendant pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to attempting to murder 26 year-old Marcin Dzioba in Finsbury Park on December 28, last year and received an indefinite hospital order.

Officers from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command began an investigation after police were called at 11.15pm.

The victim suffered multiple serious head injuries and had no chance to defend himself as O’Connell plunged the axe blade into his skull several times.

The defendant approached the police cordon still carrying the axe, which he claimed to have found in the park, but enquiries revealed he bought it from a local DIY store just before the attack.

Searches of his home revealed clothing stained with the victim’s blood.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Keely Smith said: “Initially it was thought Mr Dzioba’s injuries were so severe he would die, but he has recovered remarkably well considering what he has been through.

“But the fact remains his life will never be the same again and our thoughts are with him and his family.”

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Drinks Bender Booze Thefts Ends In Police Cell Dry-Out

A software engineer, who fled to London for week-long drinking binge after rowing with his girlfriend, was caught stealing wine and cans of lager after running out of cash.

Technical systems engineer Alexander Parker, 26, of Borley Close, Honington, Bury St. Edmunds spent nearly twenty-four hours in custody after stealing for the second time in just three days.

He pleaded guilty at City of London Magistrates’ Court (pictured) to stealing a £9.49 bottle from Portland Food and Wine, Ludgate Hill on November 13 and sandwiches and four cans of lager worth £10.54 from a nearby Marks and Spencer on November 15.

Prosecutor Mr. Ijaz Malik told the court on Wednesday: “It was twenty past eight in the morning when the shopkeeper at Portland Food and Wine saw the defendant pick up a bottle and put it in his bag.

“He was followed and arrested as he left a toilet near St. Paul’s Cathedral.

“He took the other items at two forty-five at Marks and Spencer and made no attempt to pay,” added Mr. Malik. “When he was stopped he asked: ‘Can’t you just give me a fine?”

Parker’s lawyer told the court: “He lives in Suffolk with his partner and her two children and last week had a disagreement and as a result came to London to get away from it all.

“He spent five days here and ended up using all his money after recklessly spending it.

“He did not have money to purchase the items and wrongly tried his luck to steal the items. He sometimes binge drinks and decided to have a drink in London.

“He is upset that he has left his partner alone for a week and has some explaining to do in that domestic capacity.”

The magistrates conditionally discharged Parker for nine months and he was given a free travel warrant to get him home.

The bench chairwoman told him: “If you want help with your alcohol problem get in touch with AA and take responsibility for your actions.”

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Gay Property Tycoon Murder: Polish Builder Charged

A man appeared in court yesterday charged with murdering a successful gay property developer, who liked to have large amounts of cash available for his various business ventures.

William John Saunderson-Smith, 58 - known to friends as ‘John’ – had been beaten around the head with a blunt object when found dead on October 21 at his home in Dewhurst Road, West Kensington.

Forensic officers who searched two addresses used by Mr. Saunderson-Smith (pictured) in Dewhurst Road and Sedlescombe Road, Fulham seized approximately £150,000 cash found in several plastic bags.

An incident room was opened at Hendon under Detective Chief Inspector Howard Groves who said: “At present details regarding Mr Saunderson-Smith's life, and the events leading up to his death, remain sketchy.

“Whilst local enquiries are ongoing, we are now extending our appeals to anyone who knew Mr Saunderson-Smith from his frequent visits to gay clubs in and around the Old Brompton Road and Kennington areas.

“This could be crucial in assisting us to build a complete picture about his life.

“I must stress that we are not treating this as a homophobic crime, however we are keeping an open mind as to the reasons behind his murder.

“We understand that Mr Saunderson-Smith had a number of people in his life though business and leisure interests. I am urging anyone who knew him to contact us.”

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the incident room on 020 8247 7821. If you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Polish national Slawomir Bugajewski, 38, a builder of Braid Avenue, Acton appeared in custody at Ealing Magistrates’ Court.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Snapper-To-The-Stars Jailed For Sordid Sex Attacks On Young Models

A brilliant celebrity photographer has lost his career and freedom for a series of sordid sex attacks on half-naked young models at his studio during casting shoots.

Devon-born Lee Cropper, 31, saw his career rocket after moving to London from Plymouth six years ago and was one of actress Sadie Frost's favourite photographers.

He also took portraits of actress Billie Piper and his work adorned the front cover of Vogue magazine even though he had no formal training in the profession.

He was jailed for thirty-three months at Wood Green Crown Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 24 year-old model on September 14, last year and two 22 year-olds on May 11, this year.

Between those attacks Cropper, who lived and worked at Omega Works, Hermitage Road, Haringey, North London, (pictured) received a supervision order for another sexual assault on a model in her twenties.

The victims were dazzled by his glossy portfolio of celebrity shots and felt they could not object to such a successful and well-connected photographer's creepy suggestions.

Prosecutor Miss Sandy Canavan told the court Cropper - nicknamed 'The Mofo' - booked ambitious models via an agency and used a different email address when he was blacklisted, following complaints.

A total of five models made statements to police and more serious charges of rape, attempted rape and two more sexual assaults were dropped.

"The defendant knew what the position was. He was a successful photographer, he had a successful career taking portraits of a large amount of famous models," explained Miss Canavan.

"It was clear early on they were not legitimate casting sessions, rather an opportunity for the defendant to sexually assault the victims."

The first model, who Cropper claimed was testing for ID magazine, described his studio as "looking dodgy" and the defendant as "red-eyed and hyper-active."

"He pulled his trousers down and said: 'I'm a pervert. Is that all right with you?' and said if she got naked he could take some really good photographs," explained Miss Canavan.

"He wanted her to play with his penis and because she was scared she masturbated him."

The woman fled as a second model arrived and immediately called police. "The officer dismissed her allegations without proper investigation and the defendant was free to offend again."

Canavan received the community order for fondling a model responding to a 'tasteful nudes' shoot, who was "reassured" by his portfolio of famous faces.

He encouraged the young woman to play with herself. "The defendant then grabbed her and quickly moved up to her breasts."

Canavan finally asked for two topless models comfortable with kissing each other and separately assaulted them, stroking the first's nipple and face and forcing his thumb into her mouth.

"He put her hand on his penis and asked her to rub it," added the prosecutor. "He then started to masturbate himself and she describes herself as being terrified."

The second girl was similarly abused. "He asked her to put her hands on his legs, telling her to rub his legs and started pointing to his crotch."

Miss Louise Sweet, defending, said: "His career as a photographer is over. There is no way he can go back to it. It is a small community.

"He is a man from humble beginnings and when he came to London had an admin job in the City and it was only the loan of a digital camera from a friend that convinced him he may have a talent."

After publishing his first photos on Myspace, Cropper's career took off and he was being commissioned within six months.

"He could not cope and he was not used to being exposed to fame and famous people and maybe felt insecure in that world and began to drink because he could not cope with the pressure of the job," added the lawyer.

Judge Shaun Lyons said: "These are not fleeting offences. There is a degree of insistence and persistence in each case and an abuse of trust and authority.

"They are willing and anxious to do as photographers wish, that is the abuse of authority.

"Any naked person is always at a disadvantage to the clothed."

Cropper was placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely; was banned from working with children and vulnerable adults; forfeited his camera, computer and photographs of the victims and was made subject to an indefinite Sexual Offenders Prevention Order.

At the peak of Cropper's career Sadie Frost said: "Mofo has taken some of my favourite pictures for both my company and myself. He has an edge over most with his gritty, cheeky and cool style."

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Betting Shop Bandit Banged Up

A masked gunman who terrorised a string of bookmakers in North-West London – threatening frightened staff with a pistol until they handed over cash – has been caged for eight years.

Mikhail Holness, 25, of Harrow View, Harrow pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, six counts of possession of an imitation firearm whilst committing an indictable offence and one count of possession of an imitation firearm in a public place.

The offences were committed at six separate Harrow locations - one venue was a repeat target - between June and August 2011.

On August 15 he robbed two separate bookmakers.

Harrow Crown Court was told Holness would enter bookmakers wearing either a baseball cap or bandana over his face.

He would walk up to the counter and demand money from the till or safe whilst brandishing a black handgun, threatening the staff member.

He would then walk calmly out of the shop.

Following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Flying Squad, Holness was identified from CCTV and arrested outside his home on September 19.

On arrest he was found in possession of an imitation handgun wrapped in a carrier bag and concealed in a satchel over his shoulder.

He was also in possession of a full-face balaclava and gloves identical to those worn during some of the robberies.

Officers believe he was on his way to commit further robberies.

Detective Chief Inspector Harry Hennigan, of the Flying Squad at Finchley, said: “The weight of evidence gathered and presented against the defendant at court resulted in him pleading guilty.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Cannabis Factory Intruder Shot Dead

An armed cannabis cultivator, who shot dead an intruder trying to break into his Clapham flat, has been locked-up for ten years.

Raymond Andes, 39, of Plummer Road shot burglar Isiah Bovell, 21, (pictured) in the head with a Browning 9mm pistol on April 14.

Inside the flat – hidden behind a false wall – were 101 cannabis plants Andes was guarding.

He was cleared by an Old Bailey jury of murder, but convicted of manslaughter, possession of a firearm and production of cannabis.

Paramedics passing through the area were flagged down by a young man who told them his friend had been shot. 

They rushed to the area and saw Isaiah’s body lying on a grassy area at the rear of Plummer Road. 

Police officers attending the scene noticed a window at the rear of Plummer Road was slightly ajar and a large piece of glass was missing.

Armed officers forced entry into the property when Andes refused to answer and the defendant told them: “I was just smoking my last fag”. 

A search of the flat revealed the 9mm pistol, which was cocked back.

Near the pistol was a magazine containing six unfired cartridges – laid out for police to find.

Also found were three air guns, which were not cocked or loaded, and an axe. 

Detective Inspector Henry Lindsley of Operation Trident – which investigates violent black-on-black crime in the capital said: “Raymond Andes was no ordinary householder. He was protecting a Cannabis factory, a criminal enterprise.

“He did not call the police but instead used a high powered illegal gun to shoot Isaiah Bovell dead.”