Man convicted of armed robberies on banks in Swiss Cottage and Camden
PUBLISHED: 11:13 09 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:37 09 July 2015
A man has been found guilty of carrying out six armed robberies on banks across London including branches in Swiss Cottage and Camden.
Jason Byrne, 45, from Kilburn, stole of a total of £38,900 from the banks including four other branches in Notting Hill, Kensington, Shepherds Bush and The Strand between April 1 and August 8 last year.
Kingston Crown Court heard he threatened cashiers with a gun whilst demanding they hand over cash.
John Monaghan, 54, from Kilburn, or Paul Wiltshire, 47, of no fixed address, would act as his look-out while he carried out some of the robberies.
Detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad launched ‘Operation Buzzsaw’ to find the culprits resulting in Byrne and Wiltshire being arrested as they targeted an HSBC branch in Shepherds Bush Green.
Both Byrne and Wiltshire were found with an imitation gun, two knives and a rucksack containing £4,500.
Monaghan, who was later identified and arrested, previously pleaded guilty to his involvement in three of the robberies.
Wiltshire admitted his involvement in one incident.
Byrne, who had denied any wrongdoing, was acquitted of carrying out a seventh robbery at a Barclays Bank in Hendon.
All three will be sentenced on July 16.
Detective Inspector Scott Hartley, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This group of armed robbers committed extremely violent offences, causing utter terror to bank staff and customers who were suddenly faced with armed men shouting threats and demanding cash.
“Operation Buzzsaw was a lengthy operation to identify, target and arrest Byrne and his associates, who showed no signs of slowing down their offending.
“As a result of the diligent and painstaking investigation by the Flying Squad, these criminals now face considerable prison sentences.”