Calculated violent robbers fleeced small business of £340,000

Vinton Meade

Vinton Meade - Credit: Archant

A calculated group of men who used violence to steal £340,000 from a small business in Whitechapel are facing jail.

Jurors at the Old Bailey heard how the four men targeted workers from a money transfer shop in Whitechapel Road as they moved cash away from the premises.

Vinton Meade, 29 of the Webb Estate in Clapton Common, Upper Clapton, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to his involvement in a robbery which took place on December 5 2011.

The owner of the company left the premises in his car, and when he stopped in Snowshill Road, Manor Park, he was violently assaulted, punched and strangled, and the keys were wrenched from his hand.

The victim was able to pull a hat from one of the perpetrators, but realised that there were at least two others present.

Bags of cash were taken from the boot of his car before the suspects fled.

CCTV footage uncovered by police revealed the drivers of two Mini cars watching the money transfer shop before pursuing the victim and launching the attack.

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Meade, along with Shetu Meah, 31 of Colmar Close, Whitechapel and Abdion Junior Hassan, 23, of Marlowe Road, Walthamstow were arrested for the robbery in April 2012 and subsequently re-arrested last March and charged.

The same money transfer shop was targeted again on October 15 2012, after an employee left the shop in Whitechapel Road with £30,000 cash in a plain bag, intending to deposit it at a nearby bank.

He took a mini cab and got out a short distance away from the bank for security reasons, but as he approached the bank he was attacked by two men who punched and kicked him before dragging the bag away and fleeing in a car which was waiting for them.

The attack was caught on CCTV and helped police build a picture of events and led to the arrests of six men.

Akhbar Hussain, 40 of Stileman House, Bow was believed to have been the get-away driver, and was found guilty of the robbery yesterday, following a trial which began on January 6.

Abdion Junior Hassan was also found guilty during the same trial for the robbery in October 2011, while Shetu Meah pleaded guilty to his involvement at the start of the trial.

Two other men were found not guilty.

Det Sgt Holly Simon from the Met’s Flying Squad said: “This was a terrifying act by a very calculated group of men who used violence to steal hard-earned proceeds from a small business.

“I hope the arrests and successful prosecution of these organised criminals serves as a warning to those engaging in criminality against the financial and commercial communities within London.”

All four will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on February 27.