Members of a moped gang who threatened to hurt a woman’s three-year-old son in a “shocking” attempted robbery have been jailed.
The mother was grabbed in June in Richmond, London, by a man, saying “give me your rings – I’m going to hurt your child and take him away”.
She dragged her child into the road before builders chased the gang away.
The gang of 12 were also involved in stealing BBC camera equipment from the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.
The men were all sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Monday.
The court heard how the woman had been walking hand-in-hand with her son in Sandpits Road on 21 June when gang member John McFadyen, 24, grabbed her arm.
She pulled away into the road and builders brandishing scaffolding poles then chased the gang away.
Footage of the mother dragging her son into the road went viral after being tweeted by TV presenter Amanda Holden.
Judge Georgina Kent said it was an “exceptionally serious and shocking attempted robbery” which had “a degree of planning”.
The judge noted that “fortunately there were no cars in the vicinity at that moment” but added the mother was now “afraid for her children’s safety when she takes them to and from school”.
The defendants, all aged between 18 and 36, also used their mopeds to block traffic before taking an angle grinder to cameras rigged up to capture the 2018 Boat Race on 22 March.
After one attempt on Putney Bridge failed, a highly-specialised camera worth an estimated £170,000 was stolen from Lonsdale Road by Barnes Bridge.
The gang, whose leader was Terry Marsh, 32, had previously been involved in two thefts of the same high-end outdoor clothing shop in Kensington, violently assaulting a security guard during the second raid.
Overall, it cost the business £43,000 in lost goods and a total of £80,000 including damage.
Since then other offences have included stealing an officer’s bag from an unmarked police car, spraying a police car with fire foam extinguishers as officers waited for a stolen moped to be collected and the theft of £83,000 worth of MacBooks and other Apple products from another Kensington business.
Four defendants also travelled to Redditch, Worcestershire, in January 2018 where they stole three motorbikes worth a total of £30,000 after spotting the owner’s address on an eBay advert.
Three of the gang, Omar Tafat, 22, Josh Myers, 19, and Kian Taylor, 20, were caught following a high-speed police chase lasting more than 90 minutes. All three piled on to the same bike, which was driven the wrong way on the A40 on 7 May 2018.
Judge Kent said many of the gang’s offences used motorbikes or mopeds, often stolen with false number plates.
She added: “The motorbike helmets and clothing, often all in black, were an effective disguise and created an intimidating appearance. The motorbikes provided a quick getaway.
“Many of these offences were committed in public view because you were confident you could get away with it.”
Sentences in full
- Tafat, of Fulham, was jailed for a total of eight years and five months for offences including conspiracy to steal and attempted robbery.
- Myers, of Shepherds Bush, was sentenced to eight years in a young offenders’ institution after admitting charges including dangerous driving and conspiracy to steal. He was found guilty of two further counts of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.
- Taylor, of no fixed address, was sentenced to nine years and four months at a young offenders’ institution for offences including conspiracy to steal and attempted robbery.
- Steven Weller, 36, of Ealing, was jailed for six years and seven months for offences including conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to burgle.
- Marsh, of Fulham, was jailed for a total of 13 years and two months for offences including conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to steal.
- Ryan Moran, 36, of Fulham, was given concurrent suspended sentences of two months for conspiracy to steal, 24 months for conspiracy to burgle and a month for handling stolen goods.
- John McFadyen, 24, of Feltham, was jailed for 32 months for conspiracy to rob.
- Isaac McFadyen, 19, was sentenced to 32 months in a young offenders’ institution for conspiracy to rob.
- Mitchell Leaver, 18, of Battersea, was given a 12 month suspended sentence after admitting conspiracy to burgle.
- Scott Leaver, 25, of Lambeth, was sentenced to 56 months’ imprisonment after being found guilty of conspiracy to burgle.
- Aaron Pask, 27, of White City, was sentenced to six years and eight months for offences including conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to burgle.
- Ram Monk 23, of no fixed address, was jailed for two years and eight months after being found guilty of conspiracy to burgle.