Tag Archive: Crown Court

Two former security guards found guilty of a conspiracy to steal £7 million

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Mohammed Naheen Siddique and Ranjeev Singh

Mohammed Naheen Siddique and Ranjeev Singh


Two former security guards have been found guilty of a conspiracy to steal £7 million after a three week-long trial at Kingston Crown Court.

Mohammed Naheen Siddique, 32 of Belgrave Road, Slough, and Ranjeev Singh, 40 of Grampian Way, Slough staged a robbery in an attempt to steal 19 bags of cash due to be transported to the Bank of Ireland.

The pair, who both worked for the cash handling company Loomis, were caught as the result of an investigation by the Met’s Flying Squad.

The court heard Siddique and Singh were working together on the same shift on Tuesday, 14th March and had been tasked with picking up £7 million in cash from the British Airways cargo depot at Heathrow Airport.

Analysis of CCTV footage revealed that, shortly after the money was picked up at 08:30hrs, the Loomis van pulled over outside the security gates to allow Singh to use the toilet.

This was an unauthorised stop and against all Loomis protocols and instructions, which stated that if an operative needed such a stop then he/she should call into the control centre so that closer monitoring of the van could occur.

While Singh was in the toilet, Siddique drove off and then parked it a short distance away in West View, Feltham.

Singh took 20 minutes to raise the alarm with his employer and, when asked whether he had tried to contact Siddique, he said he did not have his phone.

The delay in alerting the Loomis control centre enabled Siddique, who was helped by another man, to unload the bags of cash into a white Transit van parked in West View.

In order to create the impression of a robbery, Siddique’s hands and ankles were bound with cable ties and he was left on a service road near the M40 in Buckinghamshire. Siddique was later found by a member of the public at 11.15hrs.

Flying Squad detectives arrested Singh and Siddique after suspicions were raised by Singh’s inexplicable delay in raising the alarm and Siddique’s inconsistent account of what had happened.

During an interview in which he was being treated as a witness, Siddique claimed the theft had been organised by a man who had threatened to burn his house down.

However, analysis of a mobile phone found on Singh, - despite his claims that he didn’t have one - revealed that it had been used to call Siddique during the period the cash was stolen.

The phone cell analysis also revealed Rafaqat Hussain, who previosuly pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to steal, had been in regular contact with Singh on the day of the theft.

Flying Squad detectives established that Hussain had called a recovery driver on the day of the theft and the white Ford transit van, parked a short distance from Hussain’s house, had been loaded on to a vehicle transporter and taken to a nearby recycling centre where it was scrapped.

Hussain’s wife Razvana Zeib was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering after investigations revealed £900,000 had been transferred to a Pakistani bank account opened in her name.

Zeib and another defendant, Gary Carrod, were also charged with conspiracy to burgle after a house in Stoke Poges, which Hussain was planning to buy at a knockdown price, was burgled and ransacked.

Gary Carrod, 33, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle at Kingston Crown Court on Monday, 11th September.

Rafaqat Hussain, 41, and Razvana Zeib, 35, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to commit money laundering at Kingston Crown Court on Monday, 11th September.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bedford, of the Met’s Flying Squad, said: Although this was an organised theft involving months of planning, it would not have been possible without the calculating and devious actions of Singh and Siddique who abused their positions to subvert the secure processes put in place to prevent this type of offence.

“The pair attempted to present themselves as victims of a robbery even going so far as arranging for Siddique to be tied up and left by a motorway to be found by innocent members of the public.

“However, a swift and thorough investigation by the Flying Squad uncovered their lies, led to their accomplices being identified and ensured their successful conviction at court.

“Both men are now likely to receive substantial custodial sentences reflecting their calculated abuse of their employer's trust and the value of the monies stolen.”


Man jailed for stalking his ex-partner

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A man who stalked his ex-partner and left dozens of threatening messages after she ended their relationship has been jailed.

Pradeep Thomas, 37 (25.10.79), of Townsend Road, Ealing, was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday 27 September, to 10 months' imprisonment.

He pleaded guilty to stalking involving fear of violence at Hendon Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, 15 August.

The victim, aged in her 50s, and Thomas had been in an on and off relationship for about four years. Earlier this year the victim ended the relationship, which was not what Thomas wanted.

Thomas then harassed the victim and kept turning up at her home in Harrow, despite her repeatedly telling him she did not want to speak to him.

On 12 and 13 August the victim received 73 missed calls from Thomas and 35 voice messages.

The messages suggested Thomas was outside the victim's home and that he was going to kill or harm her.

Detectives listened to the messages and heard Thomas demanding the victim answer her phone and let him in the house. Thomas accused the victim of seeing other men, threatened to damage her house and car, made repeated threats to kill her and also threatened to throw acid on her.

The victim reported Thomas to the police and he was arrested on Monday, 14 August.

He told officers that he was hurt, upset and drunk when he sent the messages. He also admitted that the victim had broken up with him, but that he still considered her to be his girlfriend.

Thomas was charged on 15 August and appeared at Hendon Magistrates' Court in custody later the same day where he pleaded guilty.

Detective Constable Heidi Adams, the investigating officer from Harrow's Community Safety Unit, said: "Thomas refused to accept that his relationship with the victim was over and so he subjected her to weeks of harassment which culminated in him calling her dozens of times over a few hours and leaving her increasingly angry messages where he repeatedly threatened to kill her or cause her serious harm. This understandably resulted in the victim fearing for her life and feeling unsafe in her own home.

"I would like to praise the victim for contacting us and for helping us bring Thomas to justice. I hope this sentence gives her some measure of comfort and closure.

"I hope Thomas uses his sentence to reflect upon his actions. This type of behaviour is not acceptable and we will swiftly bring those who think it is to justice."


Armed robber dressed as witch jailed

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A man who disguised himself in a 'witch outfit' with a machete in his handbag has been given a life-sentence for carrying out a terrifying armed in a supermarket.

Nicholas Overton, 39, donned a long black robe, blonde wig and pointed hat as a disguise when he walked into the Co-op store in Newport on 7th July.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the serial robber had travelled from London and pulled out a machete during the raid.

He pleaded guilty to robbery, having an offensive weapon and dangerous driving, and must serve a minimum of four years.

The court heard Overton's "appalling" criminal record shows sentences for more than 20 robberies.

The latest incident was captured on CCTV and Overton made off with a quantity of cash but he was caught after two shoppers recorded the registration of his Vauxhall Vectra.

The defendant was followed doing 70mph (112kmh) in a 30mph (48kmh) zone and a stinger was used to burst the car's tyres.

Overton was found hiding in the corner of a garden in Caerleon.

Hilary Roberts, defending, said his client had an addiction to class A drugs, which had been "the scourge" of his life.

Sentencing Judge Jeremy Jenkins said he was in no doubt Overton was a "dangerous offender" who posed a significant risk of harm

He was given a life sentence with a minimum of four years, and after his release he will remain on licence for the rest of his life.

A MAN who disguised himself in a 'witch outfit' with a machete in his handbag, before carrying out a terrifying robbery at a Newport shop, has been given a life-sentence.


96 years behind bars for Rotherham groomers

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DISGUSTING: The eight men sentenced this week are: Sageer Hussain, Mohammed Whied, Ishtiaq Khaliq, Waleed Ali, Asif Ali, Masoued Malik, Basharat Hussain and Naeem Rafiq

DISGUSTING: The eight men sentenced this week are: Sageer Hussain, Mohammed Whied, Ishtiaq Khaliq, Waleed Ali, Asif Ali, Masoued Malik, Basharat Hussain and Naeem Rafiq

Investigations continue into grooming following latest sentencing

Eight men have been jailed for a combined total of 96 years for the sexual exploitation of three young girls in Rotherham between 1999 and 2003.

Appearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday 4th November, the men were individually sentenced to terms between five and 19 years behind bars.

They were convicted on 19 charges, including rape, indecent assault and false imprisonment of girls as young as 13 over a four-year period.

The sentencing follows that of six people in February of this year, who were handed a combined prison term of more than 100 years for the grooming, raping, prostitution and abuse of teenage girls in Rotherham.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Martin Tate, Senior Investigating Officer, praised the victims for speaking out against the guilty men.

He said: “Significant sentences have been handed to these individuals for their significant and horrific crimes.

“The rape and sexual abuse of children is completely abhorrent and this group have shown no remorse for their crimes, forcing the young women who came forward to report this awful abuse to relive traumatic experiences before the court.

“We are indebted to the victims, who have supported our investigation and have shown remarkable strength in attending court to give evidence.

“This has been a lengthy and complicated process but I hope they are pleased with today’s results. These dangerous sexual offenders are now behind bars where they can cause no further harm, thanks in large part to the victims’ trust and confidence in our investigation.”

Following the convictions, the National Crime Agency (NCA) confirmed that it was still separately investigating more than 11,000 lines of inquiry in relation to non-familial child sexual exploitation in Rotherham over the same four year period.

To date, 38 people have been designated as ‘suspects’ by the NCA with many more still under investigation.

Staff have spoken with 133 alleged victims and survivors and have recorded 163 crimes.

A statement from one of the survivors in the latest case was read outside of court following sentencing by a representative from Victim Support.

“I want to thank South Yorkshire Police (Operation Clover), the Police and Crime Commissioner, Rotherham Council, the ISVA service, Victim Support and, of course, my mum and dad for all of the hard work and support each of them has offered,” she said.

“The reality is I have had more support in the last three years than I have ever had before. Things have changed, all I ever wanted was justice and all of these people have helped me to achieve it.

“I know grooming still goes on but I feel that the help is available now if you speak out. Groomers thrive in the silence of others. Speak out and someone will listen. The people who chose to hurt you will be held to account for their actions, no one else, as those who hurt me have found today.

“The survivors of CSE in Rotherham have fought hard and fought with dignity. They have paved the way for others to follow and I hope they feel able to do so. If you see a child in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable please report it, CSE is everyone's issue and we all play a part in stamping it out.”

Anyone with concerns about child sexual exploitation can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also contact the national helpline Say Something on 116 000. Always call 999 in an emergency.

The eight men sentenced were:

  •        Sageer Hussain, 30, of Tanglewoods, Goole – 19 years in prison
  •        Mohammed Whied, 32, of Psalters Lane, Kimberworth – 5 years in prison
  •        Ishtiaq Khaliq, 33, of Carlisle Street, Rotherham – 17 years in prison
  •        Waleed Ali, 34, of Canklow Road, Rotherham – 13 years in prison
  •        Asif Ali, 30, of Clough Street, Rotherham – 12 years in prison
  •        Masoued Malik, 32, of Bridgewater Way, Rotherham – 15 years in prison
  •        Naeem Rafiq, 33, of Upper Clara Street, Bradgate – 8 years in prison
  •        Basharat Hussain, 40, of no fixed address and currently on remand at HMP Wakefield - 7 years

Men Jailed For 50 Years For Clement ‘Butch’ Desmier Murder

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LOCKED UP: Nathan Jefferson was jailed for 16 years

LOCKED UP: Nathan Jefferson was jailed for 16 years

VICTIM: Clement Desmier was attacked in his own home

VICTIM: Clement Desmier was attacked in his own home

Two men who murdered a vulnerable Bradford man in his own home have today been jailed for a total of 50 years.

David Lawler and Nathan Jefferson were ordered to serve minimum terms of 34 years and 16 years respectively at Bradford Crown Court for the murder of Clement 'Butch' Desmier.

Mr Desmier, who was 68, had suffered over 70 separate injuries including a number of stab wounds when he was found by a neighbour at his home in Rowlestone Rise, Ravenscliffe on 23rd August 2012.

Lawler, aged 33, formerly of Central Avenue in Shipley, was found guilty following a recent trial at Bradford Crown Court.

Jefferson, aged 20, of Springwell View in Holbeck, Leeds, pleaded guilty to murder before the trial. He was 17 at the time of the attack.

Speaking after sentencing, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Ridley, said: “Today's sentencing marks the end of a lengthy investigation into what was a brutal and sustained attack on a vulnerable man in his own home.

“Lawler and Jefferson have been given significant sentences for their actions and the communities of West Yorkshire can feel safer knowing that these violent individuals will be locked up for a long time.”

CAGED: David Lawler will serve 34 years

CAGED: David Lawler will serve 34 years


Dangerous driver behind bars

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GUILTY: Omar Tariq has been sentenced to three years four months in prison and banned from driving for five years after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving

GUILTY: Omar Tariq has been sentenced to three years four months in prison and banned from driving for five years after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving

Victim would have survived if car was travelling at speed limit

A 31-year-old man from Stourbridge, whose reckless driving resulted in the death of an innocent civilian last year, has this week been sentenced to three years, four months in prison.

Omar Tariq pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at Wolverhampton Crown Court after his white Mercedes convertible car struck and killed 39-year-old Peter Price on 29th November 2015.

Tariq was travelling at 61mph in what was a 40mph speed zone when the collision took place, a black box fitted to the vehicle has revealed.

This information, combined with an analysis of the scene by specialist crash investigators from the Regional Collision Investigation Unit, showed that customer service agent, Tariq, would have been able to stop the car in time had he been travelling within the speed limit.

Despite the best efforts of passers-by, police officers and medics, Mr Price died at the scene as a result of his multiple serious injuries.

Tariq had not been permitted nor insured to drive the car which was a courtesy car loaned to his 23-year-old girlfriend, also from Stourbridge following an accident.

In addition to the jail term handed down by Wolverhampton Crown Court he was also disqualified from driving for five years. His ban will start at the end of his prison sentence.

TRAGIC: Peter Price was returning home from a night out when he was struck down by Tariq’s car

TRAGIC: Peter Price was returning home from a night out when he was struck down by Tariq’s car

His girlfriend, Parvinder Ubhi, 23, a health and safety officer of Jardine Close, was also prosecuted for permitting use of the vehicle without valid insurance and obstructing the police in their execution of their duty by falsely claiming she was driving.

Speaking after the hearing, Peter’s father Bob Harrison said the following on behalf of his family: “It has been a long and very difficult fifteen months. The loss of Peter has been devastating to all who knew and loved him.

“Pete was a fantastic guy and will always be sorely missed.

“We would like to thank all of the police and officials who have had contact with us through this time we have found their conduct to be exemplary.”

Sergeant Adam Green, from the Regional Collision Investigation Unit, added: “It is clear from the statement provided by his family that Peter was a much loved man who is greatly missed. Omar Tariq’s actions have meant that the rest of their lives will be spent without him.

“The simple fact is that speed kills. People who speed may think that this would never happen to them, but clearly, in Tariq’s case it did and the devastation caused is irreparable.”


14 years in prison for Beeston rapist

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PRISON: Zdenko Turtak was given a 14 year custodial sentence and a six year extended licence this week for the attack and rape of a woman in Beeston

PRISON: Zdenko Turtak was given a 14 year custodial sentence and a six year extended licence this week for the attack and rape of a woman in Beeston

Attacker sentenced following brutal rape

A 22-year-old man from Slovakia was this week jailed for at least 14 years following the brutal assault and rape of a woman in Leeds earlier this year.

Zdenko Turtak, from Kosice, was handed a 14 year custodial sentence and a six year extended licence at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday 20th October after pleading guilty to the charges earlier in the month.

The 18-year-old victim had been stood at a bus stop in Beeston Road at about 10.40pm on Friday 6th March when she was grabbed from behind and dragged into a nearby garden.

Hidden from view behind a large hedge, she was struck over the head 18 times with a rock and raped.

Following extensive investigation work by West Yorkshire Police and other crime agencies, it was determined that Turtak was the wanted man, and he had fled back to Slovakia just three weeks after the attack.

After working with international officers, he was arrested in Bratislava, and flown back to Liverpool where a police van transported him to the custody suite at Leeds District Headquarters, in Elland Road.

Of note, the van was driven by the first officer on the scene on the night of the attack. Detectives had arranged for him to do it after he requested ‘the honour’ of being involved in his detention having ‘witnessed first-hand what this male did to the victim’.

VIOLENT: Turtak hit the victim over the head 18 times with the rock as he carried out his shocking assault

VIOLENT: Turtak hit the victim over the head 18 times with the rock as he carried out his shocking assault

Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, who led the investigation, said following the sentencing: “This was a massively challenging investigation due to the circumstances we were faced with, set against the understandably high level of public concern and what we know now about the offender that made him difficult to track down.

“The fact the whole attack was caught on CCTV gave us a really disturbing insight into the type of offender we were dealing with. It was quite clear early on that this was a sexual predator who was out looking for a victim to attack and was prepared to use a high level of physical and sexual violence.

“Sexual attacks of this magnitude are relatively rare but when they do occur they will always attract a thorough and comprehensive response from the police. We hope this case will demonstrate how seriously West Yorkshire Police treats offences of this nature and the lengths we will go to to get justice for victims and to keep our communities safe.”


“We never received any money”: Fraud verdict set to be challenged

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APPEAL: Dr Gul-Nawaz Khan Akbar of Mumtaz Restaurant will be appealing the fraud charge later this month after being found guilty by a jury at Bradford Crown Court.

APPEAL: Dr Gul-Nawaz Khan Akbar of Mumtaz Restaurant will be appealing the fraud charge later this month after being found guilty by a jury at Bradford Crown Court.

The ‘driving force’ behind of one of Bradford’s most profound food businesses is set to appeal a charge of fraud later this month after being found guilty, despite never benefiting from any financial gain.

Dr Gul-Nawaz Khan Akbar, of Mumtaz, says he is determined to overturn the ruling following a £100,000 fraud case which even the recorder on the day described as an ‘unfortunate’ and ‘unusual’ decision by the jury at Bradford Crown Court.

Dr Akbar was given a nine-month suspended sentence for one year and ordered to pay £34,000 in costs after a conviction for fraud by misrepresentation.

The trial centred on a £100,000 grant application from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) which was supposed to go towards the new £5million Mumtaz factory on Legrams Lane in Bradford.

However, following complications with planning back in 2011, alongside a number of unavoidable delays, the firm were unable to spend the £1.1million they needed to, in order to receive the funding, before the 11th December deadline.

As no invoices existed for the building’s development, due to it still being in negotiation stage with the contractor, Dr Akbar says he submitted ‘dummy invoices’ as allegedly advised by BIS as a way of ensuring his bid could be placed before the deadline – a procedure Dr Akbar says he was told would be ‘okay’ to proceed with.

Unbeknown to Dr Akbar, the change in government policy led to BIS being ordered to withdraw grants by the Treasury wherever possible.

In order to achieve this, the Mumtaz application was turned away, despite their ‘dummy invoices’ initially being approved and then were to be exchanged for actual invoices when made available just months later to Mumtaz’s representing solicitors.

Speaking about the case and his upcoming appeal, Dr Akbar said he was disappointed to see his business ‘targeted’ by a ‘fraud’ case which threatened to hamper Mumtaz’s reputation.

“I feel that Mumtaz has been targeted in a case that even the judge described as ‘unfortunate’,” Dr Akbar said.

CAPPE: The Legrams Lane site is set to begin operating later this month after several unavoidable delays in its development.

CAPPE: The Legrams Lane site is set to begin operating later this month after several unavoidable delays in its development.

“We have already invested in excess of £5million of our own funds into the project and will have to spend a further £1million before the development is completed.

“This £100,000, which we never even received, was made available to us, and all I did was follow the instructions given to me.

“We were trying to help the city benefit, by creating hundreds of new jobs, and this investment would have gone towards funding the development.

“I feel like somebody has tried to make an example of us, like there is a hidden agenda to target a big name business.”

The jury at the trial consulted for less than an hour before a guilty verdict was put forward, a time frame Dr Akbar and his defence team argues was ‘clearly not enough’ for them to have considered all the evidence.

“My family and I were truly shocked by the verdict after all the evidence was heard throughout the five day trial.” said Dr Akbar. “I am determined to fight on.

“I am grateful to the trial judge who described this as a very unusual case and for stating that I am a businessman who …’through his own diligence and hard work, together with that of his family, had contributed a huge amount to the Bradford community and had created a business that Bradford was rightly proud of’.

“We have 28 days to appeal the verdict and will follow it through however far we have to go.”

Meanwhile, Recorder Hawks said: “I regard this as a highly unusual case because the fact of the matter is that you didn’t get the money.”

“You did build the factory and we’ve all seen the structure that now exists and will no doubt carry your successful business forward.”

Recorder Hawks added that it was ‘a great shame’ to see a businessman with such a background and with as much experience as Dr Akbar convicted of an offence of fraud.