Jail sentences for gang who robbed Bournemouth jewellers

28 November 2019
Members of a gang who conspired to carry out an armed robbery at a jewellers in Bournemouth town centre have been given jail sentences.

Jonathan Oriba, 27 and of no fixed abode, Rowan McLaughlin, 31 and of Knyveton Road in Bournemouth, and Sophie Rivers, 29 and of Church Lane in Tooting, London, were all found guilty of conspiracy to rob Franses and Sons in Westover Road following a trial at Southampton Crown Court last month.

They appeared at Southampton Crown Court on Thursday 28 November 2019 to be sentenced alongside four other members of the gang from London - Darrius Ingram, 26 and of Oxford Gardens in North Kensington, Rhys Gregg-Ball, 27 and of Hazel Grove, Sydenham, Shahid Sharif, 28 and of Church Lane in Tooting, and Akil Tariq Ford, 27 and of Powis Terrance in Westbourne Green – who had already entered guilty pleas to conspiring to rob the jewellers on Thursday 14 March 2019.

Oriba was sentenced to 18 years in prison, Sharif and Gregg-Ball received jail terms of 12 years and 10 months and Ford was sentenced to 12 years behind bars. Ingram received an 11-year sentence, McLaughlin 8 years and Rivers was jailed for six years. 

Kalan Williamson, aged 27 and of no fixed abode, failed to answer his bail to attend court for a plea and case management hearing on Friday 5 July 2019. He was subsequently circulated as wanted and was arrested in Surrey on Thursday 31 October 2019.

He also appeared at Southamtpon Crown Court on Thursday 28 November 2019 and entered a guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to rob. He was sentenced to 16 years and 10 months.

At around 12pm on the day of the robbery Sharif, Ingram, Ford and Williamson travelled to the shop on three motorcycles with their faces concealed by crash helmets and face coverings.

One of the mopeds was driven through the door of the shop and the gang used a bottle of strong alkaline liquid – which they claimed to be acid – and a Samurai sword to threaten a security guard and passing members of the public as they carried out the raid.

The gang used a sledgehammer to smash glass cabinets and made off with more than £600,000-worth of stock from the jewellers.

Detectives from Bournemouth CID launched a detailed and very complex investigation in a bid to identify all members of the gang behind the robbery.

They found evidence to suggest that Oriba was involved in planning and organising for the gang. McLaughlin allowed the gang to use his Bournemouth home as a base and Rivers manufactured false alibis for her then boyfriend Sharif and planned to profit from the proceeds of the robbery. 

A large scale operation was carried out in London and Bournemouth to arrest the suspects on Thursday 11 April 2019.

Detective Sergeant Garry Knight, of Bournemouth CID, said: “I hope the sentences handed out today send out a strong message that we will not tolerate offences of this nature that target Dorset businesses.

“This was a complex case and I would like to thank the store owners and all the witnesses who supported our investigation and gave evidence during the trial to help bring this dangerous gang to justice.”
 
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