A man who carried out a series of robberies at bookmakers in south London has been jailed for 10 years.
Brett Mullan, 50 (02.09.71), of Wellington Street, Gravesend, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, 2 August.
He had previously pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery and five counts of being in possession of an imitation firearm at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 26 April.
The Flying Squad investigated a linked series of armed robberies at bookmakers in Lee, Norwood, Sutton and Crayford between Monday, 4 April and Sunday, 24 April.
Officers quickly found that the suspect was travelling to and from the offences via rail and so CCTV was obtained.
Mullan was stopped on a train by a railway revenue ticket inspector as he made his way to the second offence in Burnt Ash Road on Wednesday, 13 April, and provided his real name.
From there, police gathered footage of each offence, and of Mullan leaving from and returning to his home address.
He was arrested by Flying Squad officers on Monday, 25 April, after leaving home, and charged.
Detectives searched his home address and found a collapsible walking stick. After checking CCTV, it was discovered this was what he used to resemble a shotgun by concealing it within a carrier bag.
A total of £2,780 was stolen over the course of the robberies.
Detective Constable Carl Stallabras, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “Mullan terrified members of the public and staff at the bookmakers who were going about their normal lives when he demanded cash and made threats of serious violence. Those people feared for their lives.
“But a simple mistake on his way to the second offence was all we needed to track him down, and from there the wealth of evidence we obtained left him no choice but to plead guilty.
“Tackling violent crime in all its forms is our top priority, and the Met is determined to reduce the number of robberies. If you are targeted by robbers you can give us the best chance of catching them by contacting us as soon as possible. Dial 999.”
The offences took place in:
– High Street, Sutton, on Monday, 4 April;
– Burnt Ash Road, Lee, on Wednesday, 13 April;
– Burnt Ash Road, Lee, on Monday, 18 April;
– High Street, Norwood Junction on Saturday, 23 April;
– Crayford Road, Crayford on Sunday, 24 April.