Search

Snared smash and grab gang from Islington jailed for 50 years over Piccadilly raid

15:43 24 November 2016

From top left, clockwise: Kyriacou, Kavanagh, Hopkins and Symes were jailed for more than 50 years

From top left, clockwise: Kyriacou, Kavanagh, Hopkins and Symes were jailed for more than 50 years

Archant

An armed gang from Islington caught attempting an “audacious” smash and grab at a Piccadilly jewellery store have today been jailed for more than 50 years.

Charlie Kavanagh, 26, Stephen Hopkins, 29, James Symes, 30 and Johnny Kyriacou, 25, were rumbled by flying squad detectives who had been tipped off about the August raid at Chronext.

The men were set upon immediately when Hopkins and Kyriacou entered the shop with hatchets and smashed a glass cabinet.

Symes and Kavanagh, who had been waiting on the mopeds outside, were tackled as the gang tried to escape but Kavanagh revved his scooter’s throttle and drove straight at three officers.

Two were knocked aside and suffered bruising but the third, a detective constable, was hit square on and dragged along the road before the bike landed on top of him.

He suffered a fractured skull with bleeds on his brain, cracked ribs, damage to his lung and a broken ankle. He had to undergo extensive surgery and has still not recovered from his injuries or returned to work.

A fourth officer was struck with an axe during the melee, while the gang also had a machete.

All four men were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court.

– Kavanagh, of Hedingham Close, was given a life sentence for conspiracy to rob and causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He must serve thirteen-and-a-half years.

– Hopkins, of Lough Road, Holloway, was jailed for ten-and-a-half years, with an extension of four years, for conspiracy to rob and one year concurrent for unlawful wounding.

– Symes, of no fixed address, received ten-and-a-half years, with an extension of four years, for conspiracy to rob.

– Kyriacou, of Liverpool Road, was sentenced to ten-and-a-half years for conspiracy to rob.

Det Ch Insp Sarah Staff said: “They acted with total disregard for the general public who must have been terrified to see such an audacious crime being carried out in broad daylight but also for those officers who bravely tried to apprehend them.

“Our officers know the dangers they might face in their day-to-day job targeting armed robbers but should be commended for their drive and determination to apprehend those intent on breaking the law and endangering the public.”

The officer who suffered a fractured skull said it was too early to say what the long-term prognosis was, or whether there would be any psychological consequences.

He said: “I’m alarmed at the extent of my injuries as all I did was go to work one day and I ended up on the operating table a couple of days later.

“These injuries, specifically the brain injury, could affect my future career in the police. I’m also unable to drive for up to a year and this has a huge impact on my lifestyle and mobility.”

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

11:09

Winston Douglas, commander at Upper Street fire station, retires next week after 32 years of service. He looks back on his career, which started at Clerkenwell fire station, with the Gazette.

08:36

An Islington Karate Club is fighting for its future amid fears of possible closure.

Yesterday, 17:44

A row broke out at a “leader’s question time” event when an annoyed council tenant brandished a letter requesting a private valuation of her home.

Yesterday, 14:20

A water main has burst in Holloway Road this morning, just 24 hours after a rupture in Upper Street wrecked dozens of homes and shops.

Yesterday, 11:52

Jamie Oliver’s media group is eyeing up a derelict warehouse off Holloway Road for its new offices.

Yesterday, 10:57

Plans to turn a Highbury office block into a secondary free school on the doorstep of two comprehensives were this week greeted with scorn by the community.

Yesterday, 10:48

Every week, we take to the streets to find a start-up business right here in Islington. This week, we speak to the borough’s latest wine shop.

Yesterday, 07:00

Sainsbury’s has angered campaigners by making a fresh bid to open a second shop in Blackstock Road.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If your favourite pair of shoes are on their way out, you might be thinking of throwing them away.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now