Organised Crime Gang jailed for over 100 years in total
Six members of an organised crime group targeting high-value goods have been jailed for a combined total of over 100 years for a series of violent robberies, a burglary of a Nottinghamshire art gallery in 2018 and the disposal of the stolen items.
Ashley Cumberpatch, Andrew MacDonald and Kurtis Dilks conspired together to carry out a succession of planned, sophisticated raids targeting specific victims, including homes and an art gallery on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire. They then, with help from Christopher Yorke, disposed of their stolen goods through co-conspirators Sercan Evsin and Tevfik Guccuk, based at a jeweller in Hatton Garden.
Janine McKinney, Chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands, said: “This has been a challenging and complex case to prosecute. We were able to show the jury forensic and mobile phone evidence to demonstrate this was a very well organised conspiracy.
“These men put their victims through terrifying ordeals where they genuinely feared for their lives. Some were physically restrained; some were threatened and one was tortured. In addition, the community has lost a priceless historical heirloom.
“I would like to thank the witnesses for their bravery in giving the evidence that helped to secure the convictions.”
On each occasion, the gang used ladders to gain entry through first-floor windows. Residents were restrained with cable ties and threatened with violence to make them disclose where valuables were held. On one occasion a victim was tortured with a pair of pliers to make him co-operate. These offences all took place in the early hours, with the defendants wearing trademark overalls and balaclavas.
They were prosecuted at Nottingham Crown Court and, following a 13-week trial the gang were convicted on 8 July 2022 for their parts in the conspiracy. They were sentenced on 15 July 2022 as follows:
- Ashley Cumberpatch: 29 years (24 years with a five-year extended licence)
- Andrew MacDonald: 32 years (27 years with a five-year extended licence)
- Kurtis Dilks: 35 years (30 years with a five-year extended licence)
- Tevfik Guccuk: 7 years
- Sercan Evsin: 5 years
- Christopher Yorke: 12 months suspended for 21 months
Two further defendants, Shazad Khan and Abiazh Raja, pleaded guilty to stealing the car used to transport the group to the Harley Gallery. Raja was sentenced in August 2021 to 18 months imprisonment for his involvement. Khan was handed a 15-month suspended sentence, with requirements.
Four defendants, Adrian Eddishaw, Matthew Johnson, Gordon Thornhill and Darren Stokes, were acquitted of their involvement in the conspiracy.
Proceedings are active in relation to one further defendant for their part in the group’s activities.
Building the Case
The case was presented against these offenders by trying several offences together, showing the full extent of their criminal activity. The law says that separate offences with a factual link can be tried on the same indictment. Although not every attack was identical, there were a number of similarities, including the planning and reconnaissance of the targets, the methods of entry into attacked premises, the violence both threatened and used, and the use of the same co-conspirators to dispose of the stolen items on more than one occasion.
Forensic evidence on packaging containing goods stolen in one of the attacks recovered from Paris Jewels was uncovered, and linked back to members of the group, as well as the connection with London-based jewellers Evsin and Guccuk. Similarly, forensic evidence was detected on a number of items of equipment used by the offenders at more than one crime scene, implicating the organised crime group.
In addition to these connections, the movements and associations of the defendants were mapped using mobile phone evidence and evidence of journeys involving vehicles used by gang members. Regular contact between each other and established trips to the capital to dispose of stolen goods were significant in the case being proved against them.
The prosecution case was that Ashley Cumberpatch took a leading role in events, with Kurtis Dilks, and Andrew MacDonald involved in the attacks.
Christopher Yorke was identified as having assisted with the disposal of the stolen items by a trace of his movements.
All the evidence presented combined to create a consistent picture of a ruthless and organised group carrying out targeted attacks over a sustained period, in order for the jury to see the full extent of their actions, and effects on the lives of those they targeted.
Notes to editors
The defendants were convicted as follows:
- Ashley Cumberpatch and Andrew MacDonald: Three counts of conspiracy to commit burglary; three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery; five counts of converting criminal property.
- Kurtis Dilks: Three counts of conspiracy to commit burglary; three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery; four counts of converting criminal property and one count of robbery
- Tevfik Guccuk: Five counts of converting criminal property
- Sercan Evsin: Four counts of converting criminal property
- Christopher Yorke: One count of converting criminal property
The gang’s offences included:
- The theft of the Portland Tiara, worn at the coronation of Edward VII, and a matching brooch from the Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire
- Burglary of a private residence in Willoughby on the Wolds
- Robberies in Carlton, Nottingham and Chilwell, including one at the home of a professional footballer playing in an away match.
- On each occasion, travelling to Hatton Garden to pass the stolen goods on to Sercan Evsin and Tevfik Guccuk, through their business known as Paris Jewels.
- Kurtis Dilks’s involvement in a final robbery at the home of a former England international footballer.