A judge has warned eastern European criminals that British courts will not be a “soft touch” as he jailed a Romanian gang for a £1m gold robbery campaign.
The 10 gang members came to the UK specifically to commit the crimes and had not done a day’s legitimate work while here, the Old Bailey Judge Timothy Pontius said.
He gave them sentences totalling 82 years and 10 months despite the fact that they pleaded guilty and had no previous convictions. They were also told they would be deported after serving their sentences.
The judge said the gang had entered the UK as EU citizens with the intention of robbing jewellery shops of large amounts of high-quality gold. Only a fraction of their haul had been recovered from the six raids or attempted raids – leaving the robbers with £1m.