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Tower Hamlets man jailed for violent perfume robberies

Alfie Atherton (L) and Reed Roberts (R) “discovered crime does not pay” (Credit: Met) 

A 29-year-old from Tower Hamlets stole more than £40,000 in cash and perfume during a series of robberies in the West End.

Alfie Atherton was sentenced to 10 years and six months imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday.

Atherton, along with his accomplice Reed Roberts, 30, from Islington, admitted committing the violent raids last year.

On 29 January 2020, the criminal duo threw a large concrete slab at the window of a West London department, causing £1000 of damage.

Atherton, wearing a crash helmet, climbed through the hole and filled a large, white sack with £20, 500 worth of perfume and aftershave.

He waved a large “Rambo style” knife at a security guard and said “get back or I will stab you”.

On 1 February, the pair intercepted a man delivering cash to a supermarket on Clerkenwell road by attacking his arms and forcing him to hand over the box.

They used an angle grinder to cut it open, took £22,000 in cash from inside, and made off on a moped.

On 3 March, Atherton caused £45,000 worth of damage while failing to commit two further robberies.

He repeatedly rammed the security shutter of one designer store on Bond Street before leaving the moped in the door and running off.

Then he approached another store and tried to smash the front window with a concrete block, but fled when confronted by a security guard.

The pair were charged in June and their properties were raided.

Police discovered Atherton had kept six bottles of expensive aftershave at his home on Saxon Road.

Atherton pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, two counts of attempted burglary and one count of possession of a bladed article in a public place.

Roberts, of Compton Passage, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and was sentenced to seven years and six months’ imprisonment.

DC Lenny O’Keeffe said: “Atherton and Roberts caused chaos in the West End, even threatening and using violence, in their bid to steal cash and high-value goods.

“Atherton even caused more than £45,000 worth of damage to two stores when he attempted to steal even more expensive goods.

“They soon discovered that crime does not pay.”

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