‘Terrifying’ jewellery gang sentenced for Stevenage raid

Three gang members were jailed and a fourth given a suspended sentence yesterday (Tuesday) for raiding a jewellery shop at Christmas.

Claire’s Accessories in Westgate Shopping Centre, Stevenage was targeted on December 28 as a staff member opened for the day. She was overpowered, threatened with being shot, and forced to empty the shop safe of over �5,000. She was then tied up with duct tape.

At sentencing at Cambridge Crown Court, Rodney Picardi, 33, of Binks Court, Shortstown was imprisoned for five years, and Javed Miah, 19, of Costin Street, Bedford was sent to a young offender’s institute for three years. Both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery.

Two women involved in the robbery pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal. Shiuly Begum, 22, of Francis Bacon Court, London was given 12 months imprisonment and nine months for a separate offence in Luton, and Rubbina Ali, 32, of Avondale Road, Luton was given a 12 month sentence suspended for two years.

Investigating officer Dc Emma Landucci said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim which has had a significant impact on her life. The four offenders were quickly apprehended and the stolen funds were recovered. Both the police and the victim are very happy with the convictions, which reflect the severity of this violent robbery.”

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