Jailed: masked knife-wielding teenage burglars from Hackney

Aaron Byrne

Aaron Byrne - Credit: Archant

Masked knife-wielding teenage burglars from Hackney whose victims feared for their lives when they forced their way into their homes have been jailed.

Daniel Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert - Credit: Archant

Aaron Byrne and Daniel Gilbert, both 19, subjected the victims to “terrifying ordeals” as they made them lie face down on the floor during the aggravated burglaries on consecutive nights last October.

The first offence happened on the night of Sunday October 13 when the suspects along with another accomplice knocked on a door in Moulins Road, Homerton.

The victims, aged 27 and 28 opened their front door to find three masked suspects, one of whom was armed with a knife.

All three of them shouted at the victims, demanding money and jewellery, and became more and more frustrated when they couldn’t find anything to steal as they searched the house.

Fearing for their safety, one of the victims guided them to a room containing jewellery and other valuables, before the suspects then fled the property.

The following night the suspects knocked on a door in Glyn Road, Lower Clapton, where one of the four occupants answered the door to find three masked suspects armed with knives.

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They barged their way in and ordered all four victims - three aged 24, and one 25 - to lie on the living room floor, as they shouted at them, demanding money, phones and jewellery.

Two of the suspects held a knife to the back of the neck of one of the victims as they led him upstairs to his bedroom.

After a 20 minute ordeal, the suspects fled taking with cash, jewellery and electrical goods.

On Friday at Snaresbrook Crown Court Aaron Byrne, from Bradstock Road, Homerton, was sentenced to nine years and four months imprisonment for both aggravated burglaries, and Daniel Gilbert from Kenton Road, Victoria Park, was sentenced to six years and eight months imprisonment for the aggravated burglary on October 13.

Byrne and Gilbert pleaded guilty to the first aggravated burglary last November.

Last month Byrne pleaded guilty to the second one, along with 21 other burglary offences, which were taken into consideration.

Det Const Matt Mowbray, from Hackney CID, said: “A number of the victims caught up in the aggravated burglaries genuinely feared for their lives and are still coming to terms with their terrifying ordeals. I hope that they too find comfort in this sentence.

“The substantial sentences handed down to these dangerous offenders should give them time to reflect on how their actions have had a traumatic and long lasting effect on all those involved.”

Det Insp Amanda Whorwood, from Hackney CID, added: “An excellent investigation was conducted by a number of officers from the Hackney Police serious and acquisitive crime unit, with hours of painstaking evidence gathering to get this case to court.”

Anyone with information about these incidents or the identity of other suspects involved should contact Hackney CID on 101.