A gang of robbers who carried out a violent raid at an ASDA store, in which they pistol whipped an employee and stole almost £80,000, have been convicted.
The gang was helped by in-store baker Parminder Bharij, 30, of south east London who had been demoted from his previous role as a cashier.
Bharij helped Fabian Campbell, 26 and Hassan Hussyein, 25 also of south east London, plan the robbery at the Clapton Common, Stoke Newington branch.
At 11:25pm on February 4, Campbell, Hussyein and a third, unidentified person parked at the back of the shop and went in through the rear staff entrance, to the loading bay.
Inside, they attacked a 52-year-old employee, pushing him to the floor and holding a gun to his head. They demanded that he take them to the shop office and, fearing for his life, he did as they asked.
While in the office, a 23-year-old employee walked in on them. The robbers grabbed him and demanded he open the safe in the cash room next door. When he initially resisted, one of the men pistol-whipped him and sprayed CS gas into his eyes.
Once the victim opened the safe, one of the gang unloaded around £80,000 cash into a hold-all while the others continued to assault the 23-year-old.
The gang tied up both men and made their escape through the building. On their way out they encountered a 30-year-old male employee in the loading bay, whom they tied to a stock trolley before making their getaway in their car.
Police and London Ambulance Service (LAS) attended the scene. LAS treated the victims for shock. The 23-year-old was taken to a north London hospital with head injuries but discharged himself the following morning.
Detectives from the Flying Squad began an extensive investigation starting with a forensic examination of the cash room. They found a small brown rag under the door in the cash room, DNA from which was found to belong to Campbell.
They also searched through hours of CCTV from various buildings in the vicinity to capture the robbers’ journey in a VW Polo Saloon car to the supermarket. Following extensive police enquiries the vehicle was found to belong to Hussyein.
Each of the trio was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery.
Campbell and Hussyein were also found guilty of possession of an imitation handgun with intent to commit robbery. Bharij was found not guilty of this offence.
DC Andy Terry, who led the investigation for the Flying Squad, said: “The gang plotted a raid on the supermarket using Bharij’s knowledge of its layout, staffing and the work patterns to help them. They demonstrated their willingness to be violent to the staff who were just going about their usual work that night but will now doubtless spend the rest of their lives recalling this horrific incident.”
All three men are due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on May 18.