Organised crime gang who terrorised motorists across West Midlands found guilty
An organised crime gang who carried out nearly 30 violent robberies using firearms to steal motor vehicles across West Midlands have been found guilty today (Thursday 28 November).
Paul Joseph Doyle (41), Joshua Barrett (22), Luke Mander (22) and Keir Carter (18) were convicted of a number of serious offences including conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to steal, all involving theft or robbery of motor vehicles in West Midlands, Warwickshire and Staffordshire police force areas including motorhomes stolen from as far afield as Weston Super Mare, Somerset.
The court heard that the four men based in Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham always wore masks to avoid identification and they attacked and/or threatened motorists returning to parked cars usually in busy shopping centres and railway stations.
They often used group violence and imitation firearms on victims which included pregnant women. On one occasion they re-stole a car which had been recovered by the police and was being transported to safety, kidnapping the recovery driver for a short time in the process.
The four men were prepared to use or threaten serious violence against vulnerable motorists in broad daylight in order to steal their cars, all when they knew that CCTV cameras would be recording them.
They also carried out a robbery in a shop in which they produced a Luger pistol and stole cigarettes, alcohol and cash in the process, all when the storekeeper was eight months’ pregnant.
Some offences were caught on CCTV; others featured recovery of forensic evidence linking one or more defendants through items dropped at the scene or stolen vehicles shown photographed on mobile phones linked to them; and the links between the defendants were shown by mobile phone analysis.
David Rouse of the CPS said: “This was nothing less than an organised crime gang who were brazen, violent and systematic. The CCTV footage which captured their crime was graphic and shocking and no one who saw it will forget it. Many of the victims were badly affected and traumatised by what had happened.
"The defendants have been brought to justice today following a very large investigation by three police forces and by detailed and painstaking work by the prosecuting team to present the large volume of evidence recovered in the most persuasive way, and they can expect to receive significant sentences for their crimes.
“I would like to commend the investigating and prosecuting teams for the huge amount of hard work which was needed, and most of all, the many victims and witnesses who came forward despite their fear to report this very serious offending. The message is - report it and we can bring someone to justice for it.”
Notes to editors
David Rouse is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service
Full defendants and indictments:
Paul Joseph DOYLE 17 Apr 1978 (41 years old). Robbery, conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to possess an imitation firearm intending to rob, possession of an imitation firearm intending to cause fear of violence, kidnapping. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal.
Joshua BARRETT 28 Apr 1997 (22 years old). Robbery, conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to possess an imitation firearm intending to rob, possession of an imitation firearm intending to cause fear of violence, conspiracy to steal. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to rob.
Luke MANDER 7 Feb 1997 (22 years old). Conspiracy to possess an imitation firearm intending to rob, robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy to steal, possession of cannabis with intent to supply. Pleaded guilty to robbery on 9.11.2018. Specific count - possession of cannabis with intent to supply, conspiracy to rob.
Keir CARTER 16 Jul 2001 (18 years old). Conspiracy to steal, possession of a Class B drug (cannabis) - (he was not in the trial as he had pleaded on an earlier date).
Pleas entered either during trial since 30 September 2019 or on earlier dates.