Armed thugs posed as delivery drivers before shooting boy, 11, in attack on family home

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Anthony Lascelles, Christopher Sargent and Ajaypal Singh have been jailed for a total of more than 50 years over the brutal raid in Upminster, east London, during the first Covid lockdown

Anthony Lascelles has been jailed for 18 years for his role in the raid
Anthony Lascelles has been jailed for 18 years for his role in the raid

An 11-year-old boy was almost killed when he was shot by armed intruders in a brutal raid on his family’s home.

One of the three thugs posed as a delivery driver before they burst into the house in Upminster, east London, during the first Covid lockdown.

The boy suffered a horrific 15cm by 15cm wound to his shoulder when his dad’s shotgun went off as he wrestled with one of the intruders.

The dad, in his 40s, suffered a knife wound to his head while the boy’s mum was dragged upstairs and suffered a cut to her throat.

She was injured when one of the gang threatened her with a knife as he demanded to know where the safe was.

Thug Christopher Sargent appeared to hold his head in his hands and sob when he heard the extent of the boy’s injuries during his first court appearance.

Sargent had posed as a courier before the others burst into the house on the night of May 1, 2020.







Christopher Sargent, who posed as a courier, was handed a 15-year sentence
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Image:

Metropolitan Police / SWNS.COM)







Ajaypal Singh has been sitting down for 20 years
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Image:

Metropolitan Police / SWNS.COM)

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The mum and boy had knives held to their throats as the gang demanded that the dad reveal where the safe was.

Claire Hebden, prosecuting, told an earlier court hearing: “She received a cut to her throat when the knife was held to her.

“They said they didn’t have any money or a safe, and they offered jewellery. A knife was put to the son’s throat.

“[The father] was told his son will be killed if he didn’t show him where the safe was. “[The father] was struggling with the courier.

“He believed he was knocked out and doesn’t remember what happened properly. Blood was running down his face. He noticed one of the shotguns on the floor.

“[The father] has a gun license and the shotguns are usually locked in a safe. He’s a member of a gun club.

“He states he only picked the gun up because he feared for his life. He and a man began fighting over the gun.

“His 11-year-old son rushed forward, and the gun was discharged. He says the other man had his finger on the trigger.

“He noticed blood on his son, he went pale, and understood he was shot.

“His wife has given a similar account. She says a knife was held to her throat as they were demanding money. They wore balaclavas and pushed their way upstairs.

“Her younger daughter was in her room. The mother said all she could give was a jewelery box, and high value jewelery was taken.

“She received an injury that required treatment to her throat. Her partner also required staples to put the wound on his head.”

The boy was placed in an induced coma, but has since recovered.

The gang fled with £20,000 worth of jewelery and watches.

But detectives quickly established that the man who came to the door posing as a delivery driver before leaving a parcel on the doorstep was Sargent.

As the dad bent down to pick up the parcel, he was knocked to the ground by the rest of the gang who stormed inside.

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Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command began inquiries to trace the men, including a review of number plate and mobile phone data from the area.

They also recovered doorbell footage of the suspects who were later arrested and charged.

The gang have now been jailed for a total of more than 50 years.

Anthony Lascelles, 34, Harold Hill, east London, was sentenced to 18 years in jail with an extended license period of five years when he appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday for sentencing.

He had previously pleaded guilty to robbery.

Sargent, 28, of East Ham, east London, pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to 15 years, with an extended license period of five years, last November.

Ajaypal Singh, 28, of Ilford, east London, was found guilty of robbery following a trial last November.

He had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply and possession of a bladed article.

He was sentenced to a total of 20 years behind bars, with an extended license period of five years.

In her sentencing remarks, Judge Patricia Lees commended Detective Constable Darren Warner for his “intelligent, honest and reasonable” approach to the investigation.

She added: “It is clear to me that he is an outstanding officer of whom the Metropolitan Police Service should be proud.”

DC Warner said: “This result is the conclusion of a complex investigation into a serious and violent crime that had a significant impact on the local community. It also left a family, including a young child, terrified.

“They will never be able to forget what happened to them that night.”

He added: “I am grateful to the members of the public who came forward to assist the investigation.

“In the Metropolitan Police we know that we are most effective when we police with the support of the public, working together to tackle those causing the most harm.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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