HSBC robbers jailed for 2011 heist

(left to right McKenzie, Griffiths, Francis and Hall)

(left to right McKenzie, Griffiths, Francis and Hall)

Two men sentenced for their part in the 2011 Chandler’s Ford HSBC robbery had also taken part in a previous 2007 robbery at the same bank in which two gunmen were shot dead by the flying squad Police have revealed.

Leon Hall, 36, of Oxtoby Way, Streatham, South London wwere sentenced today to six and a half years and Leon McKenzie, 33, of Rookery Gardens, Orpington, Kent, was sentenced to six years.

They had already served sentences for their part in the deadly 2007 robbery at Chandler’s Ford Precinct.

No firearms were used in the 2011 heist which sparked a manhunt after the getaway car was found abandoned in nearby Symonds Close.

Abandoned volvo car 2011

Abandoned getaway car

Two other men were sentenced alongside them at WInchester Crown Court to a total of 23 years for their part in a string of bank robberies across the South that netted them £100,000 – none of which has been recovered.

Hall and McKenzie were also served with Serious Crime Prevention Orders (SCPO) which will restrict their access to phones, computers and other communications devices, and vehicles, and require notification to police of their whereabouts once released.

Police Officers from South East Regional Organised Crime (SEROCU) worked closely with forces in the areas involved to investigate the attacks and after intensive enquiries over several months caught the men as they lay in wait for a security van in Gloucester in April 2012.

Detective Superintendent Steve Black said;

 “Working with the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad and police forces across the region we identified the pattern of these robberies, and it became clear that the same locations were being targeted.

“Our operation involved many long days of patient intelligence gathering and assessment to ensure public safety.

“In the previous series the robbers had used firearms so we had to be prepared for that eventuality too, and the NCA firearms teams were a vital part of the operation. This time round the robbers did not carry weapons but that was not clear until they were arrested.

“But they were also ruthless in their assaults on the guards, putting them and bystanders in great fear. One elderly man who bravely intervened with his walking stick in Bath was viciously pushed to the ground by one of the attackers, thankfully sustaining only minor head injuries.

“This was an excellent example of police cross-border co-operation in very testing circumstances and we are grateful to all involved for their support.”

G4S Security van parked next to bank

G4S Security van parked next to bank

photos: ©eastleighnews 2014 and crown copyright

  3 comments for “HSBC robbers jailed for 2011 heist

  1. John Renard
    February 28, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I despair of the lenient sentences routinely imposed for really serious crime nowadays.

    These professional thugs had just been released from prison for an identical spree of violent robberies and immediately returned to their criminal ways.

    TV tonight showed CCTV of their horrific, frightening attacks on innocent men delivering cash. The judge said they had been severely traumatised and still suffering aftermath.

    Now I read (above) that this latest string of violent robberies netted them a total of £100,000 – none of which has been recovered.

    An absolute minimum of 12 years should have been imposed, if only to protect the public from these dangerous recidivists. Instead, the highest sentence was a derisory six and a half years! It means they will be out in less than three years (no hardship to these types), all ready to start up again.

    The time is long overdue that judges and Parliament rethought their priorities and afforded decent people proper protection from professional criminals.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      February 28, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      I have to agree these sentences do seem rather lenient for repeat offenders.

  2. Rosie
    March 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I totally agree. Unbelievable sentencing for crimes where violence is involved and repeat offences. Time that repeat offenders were permanently tagged when let back out into the community and no access to benefits, plus lie detectors to question them about the whereabouts of the money and, ideally, a one-way ticket to Mars …!

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