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Bungling raiders who stabbed Lloyd’s Bank staff in Stepney are jailed for 19 years

PUBLISHED: 09:15 16 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:26 16 August 2016

Bank raiders Tariq Ahmed (left) and Junaid Hassan (middle) each jailed nine years, Mohammed Khan eight years

Bank raiders Tariq Ahmed (left) and Junaid Hassan (middle) each jailed nine years, Mohammed Khan eight years

MPS+Archant

A gang of vicious armed raiders who slashed the faces of bank staff during a hold-up in London’s East End have been jailed for a total of 19 years.

They burst into the Stepney branch of Lloyd’s Bank in the Commercial Road armed with knives and a claw hammer and confronted the terrified staff demanding cash, as one blocked the exit.

Lloyds Bank in Commercial RoadLloyds Bank in Commercial Road

One staff member was stabbed in the face, while a woman colleague had knives held to her throat and forced to the floor, her face slashed during the ordeal.

But the heist on March 9 was bungled from start to finish. The hapless raiders failed to grab any cash, the Old Bailey heard.

The gang, including a teenager, grabbed worthless bank correspondence instead, before they fled—only to bungle their escape as well.

They sped off in black BMW car belonging to one of the gang which was spotted by police who noticed the number-plate had been tampered, to make an ‘L’ look like an ‘E’.

The three were still in the car when police stopped it. Officers searching the vehicle then found identical clothing, masks and gloves worn during the robbery.

Incredibly, a price tag for the clothing and packaging from a knife used during the robbery were also lying about in the car, enough for detectives to trace the supermarket where one of the men had bought the gear that morning.

Police later recovered the gang’s weapons which they had dumped in a street rubbish-bin.

“This was an audacious armed robbery and a terrifying ordeal for bank staff,” the Flying Squad’s Det Con Brad Weston said after Friday’s jail sentencing. “Two staff had knife injuries to the face. But the men were soon arrested and identified—thanks to the swift action of bank staff.”

All three of the gang admitted conspiracy to rob when they first appeared at the Old Bailey. Tariq Ahmed, 22, from Vesey Path in Poplar, was slapped with nine years, Junaid Hassan, 24, from Saracen Street in Limehouse, also got nine years, while Mohammed Khan, 19, from Mackrow Walk in Poplar, was handed eight years.

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