Robbers jailed for east London bookmaker raids

By Rob Virtue on March 1, 2013 3:33 PM |

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A robber who used CS gas and an imitation gun to force bookmakers to hand over cash has been sent to prison for 13 years.

Tom Harris, 27, of no fixed abode, carried out the three attacks in April last year before being traced by police to the West Midlands in August.

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The first attack was on Coral bookmakers at Poplar High Street at 6.30pm on April 7. Harris, pictured left, wielded a can of CS gas and demanded money from the cashier.

His accomplice, William Mosson, 41, of Woodland Road in N11, acted as lookout while the cash was handed over. The duo then made off towards Tower Hamlets College.

Just over a week later, Harris used an imitation gun to take money from William Hill bookmakers in East Ham.

Two weeks later, on April 30, he went into Blenheim Racing in Northolt Way in Hornchurch. He was carrying a black plastic bag and intimated there was a gun inside.

The staff handed over cash.

Detectives linked the raids and circulated the duo's images. They were both soon identified and Mosson was arrested at his home on July 10.

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In August Harris was arrested in the West Midlands over a domestic incident.

Police seized a jacket matching one worn in the first two raids.

They also found the black plastic bag with Harris' fingerprints on.

Harris denied the charges but was identified by victims in an ID parade.

He was jailed on Friday for three robberies and one possession of an imitation firearm.

Mosson, right, admitted his part in the first raid and was sentenced on Wednesday to three and a half years for one count of robbery.

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