5:04pm Monday 22nd July 2013
© Press Association 2014
Two brothers have been jailed for their roles in a "professionally planned and executed" million-pound armed raid at Selfridges.
Sam Curtin and Connor Groake admitted conspiracy to rob and aggravated vehicle taking at the famous department store in Oxford Street, London, on June 6.
Curtin, 24, appeared at Kingston Crown Court on crutches having broken his leg in a crash on one of the getaway vehicles, a Vespa moped. His co-accused, Groake, 19, was driving the vehicle, the court heard.
The duo, from Islington, were part of the smash-and-grab attack, in which five men dressed in burkas made off with almost £1.5 million of luxury watches. Members of the group used axes and sledgehammers to smash glass cabinets then filled holdalls with the watches.
Horrified shoppers looked on as the gang met accomplices outside with getaway vehicles, before Curtin and Groake were caught moments later.
Sentencing the two defendants, Judge Nicholas Price QC said the raid had been carried out with "remorseless efficiency" and ordered Curtin to serve an extended sentence for the public's protection.
Groake was jailed for a total of eight years and nine months, while Curtin was given a 10 year prison sentence with an extension period of three years.
"This had all the hallmarks of a professionally planned commercial robbery," the judge said.
"It is a matter of regret that you two are the only ones apprehended. I have no doubt the police investigation will continue. It was chilling to see how those robbers carried out that robbery with such remorseless efficiency."
Mohamed Hussein, a restaurant worker who chased and apprehended Groake before police arrived, was praised by the judge for his actions and awarded £500 as compensation.
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