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Hammer horrors: Details of moped trio’s reign of terror on Hampstead streets

PUBLISHED: 16:45 19 February 2015 | UPDATED: 16:55 19 February 2015

Corrie Moroney (left),  Ellis Parkinson (centre) and Alan Fitzgerald

Corrie Moroney (left), Ellis Parkinson (centre) and Alan Fitzgerald

Archant

Three members of a gang who terrorised wealthy residents in a three-month campaign of violent muggings on mopeds around Hampstead have been jailed for a total of 23 years.

In many of the attacks the trio pounced on terrified victims in their own driveways and threatened then with hammers, a taser gun and knives.

They shattered their car windows before forcing them to hand over valuables such as designer watches, jewellery, cash and mobile phones worth thousands of pounds.

The 12 robberies took place in Hampstead, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Golders Green and St Johns Wood from March to June 2014.

Among the most violent, which were reported in the Ham & High at the time, were:

On May 17, a couple with their four-year-old son, and seven-year-old daughter were threatened by men in boiler suits and crash helmets and their window was smashed with a hammer as they climbed into their car in Winnington Road, Hampstead Garden Suburb. after a day out in Kenwood.

On June 1, a 26-year-old man was driving into his garage in Kidderpore Avenue, Hampstead, when a suspect on a moped followed him in. The attacker smashed his car window and threatened him with a hammer and a knife, forcing him to hand over a £24,000 watch and wallet.

On June 17, a woman was parking her car in Hamilton Terrace, St Johns Wood when robbers sped up on two mopeds and threatened her with a hammer.

They forced her to hand over a phone and watch and snatched her handbag from the back of the car.

The robbery spree was finally brought to an end by officers from the Flying Squad who studied CCTV footage and pulled together witness reports to identify the three suspects and mounted a surveillance operation. Undercover police followed them after they ambushed a woman in St John’s Wood, stealing her watch and handbag, on June 20.

Corrie Moroney, 23, of Wedmore Street, Tufnell Park, Alan Fitzgerald, 20, of Pollards Close, Holloway, and Ellis Parkinson, 21, of Tollington Road, Holloway, were seized from their homes in dawn raids.

Moroney, who admitted being involved in all 12 raids, was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus an extra year for assault.

Parkinson was jailed for eight years after admitting his role in seven of the incidents and Fitzgerald was sentenced to four years in a young offender’s institute after admitting his part in the last of the robberies.

Det Sgt Gail Lilley from the Serious and Organised Crime Command, said after the case: “I am very pleased with the sentencing and that three dangerous violent offenders have been caught who were terrorising residents. This sends a clear message to those involved in street robberies.”

Statements from traumatised victims were read out at Blackfriars Crown Court in which they told of flashbacks, sleepless nights and children too scared to go out to play. One victim had been robbed before but this had left him most affected – and he said he would not mentally recover.

Judge David Richardson said that their campaign would have “life changing” consequences for its victims.

“They will never forget what happened to them,” he said.

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