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Heath gunmen put behind bars for 10 years

PUBLISHED: 10:38 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:11 07 September 2010

GUN wielding thugs who robbed two men on Hampstead Heath are behind bars this week. The men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, struck twice on June 16 last year using a gun to threaten and rob their victims in two separate incidents. In the early ho

GUN wielding thugs who robbed two men on Hamp-stead Heath are behind bars this week.

The men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, struck twice on June 16 last year using a gun to threaten and rob their victims in two separate incidents.

In the early hours they surrounded a 38-year-old man and one of them pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the victim's forehead. A struggle followed and while the victim was on the floor he was hit on the head with the gun before the gang made off with his £800 wristwatch and his rucksack and keys.

Next they found a lone 44-year-old man who was crossing the Heath to catch a night bus. The victim felt what he described as 'a cold metal pipe' placed against his forehead and was told to empty his pockets.

He ran but the gang chased him, firing two shots in his direction. They caught him and punched him in the face before repeatedly punching and kicking him while he was on the ground. At this point the victim screamed for help and the suspects ran away.

Police were called and they shortly identified a group of six men in North End Road near the scene of the attacks.

One suspect was found to have a gas-powered air pistol with two pellets and another had the watch taken in the first robbery.

Last week the men, who are all aged between 18 and 20, were sentenced to a combined total of 10 years behind bars.

Det Insp Gary Randall said: "We take a firm stance against violent crimes, especially where lone victims are attacked by groups and I thank the victims for having the bravery to come forward and report these crimes.

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